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Hot air balloon lands in driveway in Milton

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Gazette staff
October 6, 2011
— Some Milton residents got a surprise Tuesday evening when a large hot air balloon landed in a driveway on the city's far west side.

Milton Police Lt. John Conger told WCLO radio the balloon landed in a driveway at Forest Lake Drive shortly before 7 p.m. Tuesday.


The balloon apparently stalled out as a light breeze died at dusk. Its pilot didn't want to land in a nearby crop field, and chose to land in a driveway instead, Conger told WCLO radio.


An 82-year-old woman was riding in the balloon's basket at the time. She had taken the ride as a gift from family. Neighbors helped pull the balloon down safely, and no one was hurt.


The balloon was chartered out of Janesville by Janesville Hot Air Balloon Company, said Jim Bushelle, the company's owner. Bushelle said in a phone message Wednesday that nothing went wrong during the flight, calling it a "well-executed, planned landing" and a "typical balloon flight."


He said balloonists often land in subdivisions, open yards and fields in municipalities.


Conger said neighbors were unprepared Tuesday when the balloon came down in a driveway.


"They certainly weren't expecting this," he told WCLO radio.


The balloon's pilot gave children in the neighborhood up-and-down rides for about a half-hour before police asked the pilot to wrap things up.



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