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Kelowna  

Hot air balloon touches down on Enterprise Way in Kelowna

Unscheduled landing

UPDATE 2:45 p.m.

Joy Klempner with Okanagan Ballooning has reached out to Castanet to let us know that the hot air balloon that landed in the parking lot at the McIntosh Centre Thursday morning, "was not struggling to stay aloft nor was there any issues regarding the operation of the balloon."

Klempner says the wind changed directions and forced the balloon into the Hunter Rd area.

"The balloon landed safely at the McIntosh Centre at approx. 8:15 am this morning. The crew was on site to bring it down. There were RCMP on site because a hot air balloon is exciting and attracts attention. They came as a precaution to mitigate traffic flow. Since the balloon landed in a parking lot; their presence was unnecessary but always welcome. "

Klempner says this type of landing isn't unusual in her business; "thanks all those that came to say hi and others for their concern."


UPDATE 1:35 p.m.

Joy Klempner with Okanagan Ballooning says Thursday's hot air balloon landing in the parking lot of the McIntosh Centre was not due to issues regarding the balloon.

"A hot air balloon floats in the direction of the wind," says Klempner in an email to Castanet.

"This morning, upon landing approach, the wind changed direction from a southeast to southwest, and brought the balloon into the Hunter Road area."

She says the ground crew was on site to bring the balloon down safely.

"There were RCMP on site because a hot air balloon is exciting and attracts attention. They came as a precaution to mitigate traffic flow. Since the balloon landed in a parking lot, their presence was unnecessary but always welcome. "


UPDATE 11:15 a.m.

Steve Wraith tells Castanet he had just gotten off work at 6:30 Thursday morning and was enjoying a coffee when he noticed a hot air balloon struggling to stay aloft.

Wraith says he enjoys watching the hot air balloons in the morning but this one looked like it was having a hard time maintaining altitude.

"I heard him, I could hear the flame (makes flame sound) and he goes up maybe 10 feet and then they kinda start falling. It looked like he was trying to get altitude and he just couldn't get it."

This isn't the first time Wraith has seen balloons land in his area, "they land on our street because it's quiet and they quickly fold it down and just keep going."

This one touched down by the McIntosh Centre on Leckie Rd. but also managed to get going before it caused too much of a disturbance.

Wraith says he's been in a hot air balloon and speculates that with the hot temperatures and lack of wind the balloon just couldn't stay airborne.

"Think about this the air in the balloon is the same temperature as the air outside it just can't stay aloft."


ORIGINAL 9:29 a.m.

RCMP had to respond to an unusual incident on Enterprise Way Thursday morning after a hot air balloon touched down near Enterprise Way and Leckie Rd.

At this point, it's not clear if the touchdown was planned and just missed the landing spot or if the operator ran into difficulty and was forced to touchdown.

Castanet has reached out to RCMP for more details.



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