Early morning city flight goes down like a lead balloon
Hot air balloon hits Treasury Building
Spectators watched on as the balloon hit the side of the building before dropping to the ground. Photo: Peter G. Schlumpp
A hot-air balloon struck the side of the Treasury Building and crashed to the ground just after take-off on Thursday morning.
There was a pilot and two passengers aboard the balloon when it tried to avoid a collision with a balloon overhead and instead hit the top of the six-storey building.
No one was hurt in the incident.
A Canberra hobby photographer and visual artist, Peter G. Schlumpp, captured images of the balloon’s descent, above, and he believed it was lucky no one was seriously hurt.
“I’m about 100metres away and I turned the camera around and I didn’t have time to adjust so I just clicked along as it hit the building and came down,” Mr Schlumpp said. “My heart was beating hard, when you see something like that. I was very worried about the people in the basket that they would get injured or killed.”
The balloon festival’s flight director John Wallington said the pilot had been trying to avoid another balloon.
“She made a snap decision that she didn’t want to risk climbing up into the balloon going off above her, but unfortunately she came too close to the building and contacted it.”
Mr Wallington said the incident involving the balloon operator was a minor one and said “the only thing hurt was a few egos”.
“There was no damage to the building, to the basket or to her and the passengers. All up it’s probably a day’s work and $1000 worth of repairs to the fabric.”
Mr Wallington said he had reviewed video footage of the descent, which he described as “quite slow”, however, he would not release the footage.