Balloon crash fear

Local residents are worried about the potential for hot air balloon crashes in residential areas. Photo: File
Local residents are worried about the potential for hot air balloon crashes in residential areas. Photo: File

A GLENEAGLE resident says she fears that a serious accident is only around the corner for herself and her neighbours due to hot air balloons flying too low over their homes.

Theresa – whose surname has been withheld by request – said she had seen a balloon crash into her neighbour’s fence earlier this year and a second accidental landing last month.

“I was laying in bed when I heard what was a familiar sound to me – the sound of the operator desperately trying to lift the balloon and stop it from deflating,” Theresa said.

The balloon flew extremely close to houses before landing near Gould Hill Road.

Theresa said she was frustrated at the near misses.

“Why fly over a built up estate when there is so much open space surrounding them in the Scenic Rim?” she said.

“It’s only a matter of time until someone’s roof gets wrecked.”

Theresa said she was concerned for the safety of residents, drivers and balloon passengers.

Referring to the balloon that landed in a residential area on Gould Hill Road, Theresa said while she did not know the cause for the landing, the practice seemed dangerous.

Civil Aviation Safety Authority spokesman Peter Gibson said balloon pilots did not plan to fly low except during take-off and landing but weather conditions could play a part in how low pilots flew and where they landed.

“In normal operations they only land at designated locations,” Mr Gibson said.

“However, sometimes wind conditions mean an unplanned landing may be necessary.”

Mr Gibson said balloon incidents could be reported by pilots to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau. Residents with evidence of a balloon operating unsafely also could make a report to CASA on 131 757.

In June last year, the Times reported on a balloon joy ride that  suddenly ended in a Gleneagle backyard

In that incident, the balloon came careening to the ground in Trinity Place in the early morning.

Nobody was reported injured at the time.

In another incident, two hot air balloons collided near Alice Springs, NT in 1989, causing one to crash, killing 13 people. 

It was the world's deadliest ballooning disaster until 2013, when a balloon accident in Egypt killed 19 people.