Hot air balloon ‘crash lands’ on Potters Bar Golf Course

TRAVELLING in a hot air balloon is often a serene and peaceful way to enjoy a bird’s eye view of nature at its best.

What most balloonists wouldn’t imagine is having their tranquil ride end in near death.

However, on May 23 Times Territory residents feared that may have been the case when a hot air balloon landed on Potters Bar Golf Club.

Eyewitnesses said the large red and blue Horizon balloon skimmed the houses of Heath Drive and The Avenue before collapsing in the Darkes Lane club field.

Grandmother Ann Cruttenden, of Heath Drive, witnessed the huge balloon and its pilot in trouble.

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She told the Potters Bar Edition: “We were in the garden just after 8pm when I looked up and saw there was a balloon really low in the sky.

“The pilot was really trying to get it going again but it was getting lower and lower – it was skimming a neighbour’s rooftop.

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“I think the pilot was in a lot of trouble and it certainly looked like it could have come down on the house or in the street.”

She continued: “I rushed out of the front of the house and so did a lot of other people.

“It just about made it to the golf course.”

Janice Gunther, who lives in The Avenue, also witnessed the spectacle.

“It came down very, very low.

“A neighbour thought it was going to land in his garden, but it just made it over the houses and on to the golf course.

“In fact, a golfer who was just about to play a shot looked up, saw it coming towards him and made a very hasty exit.

“It was quite fascinating!”

A spokeswoman for Go...Ballooning – which owns the balloon – said the balloon had a perfectly normal landing.

She told the Potters Bar Edition: “We did have a balloon which landed in the golf course but the pilot specifally chose to land there once up in the air.

“It may have looked worrying for residents but it was a normal landing.”

A spokeswoman for Potters Bar Golf Club said she was not aware of the incident.

Fortunately – unlike the Abu Dhabi hot air balloon crash in April, in which two people died – none of the balloon’s 10 occupants were injured.

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