Community Helps Land Hot Air Balloon in San Diego - NBC New York
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Community Helps Land Hot Air Balloon in San Diego



    Carmel Valley Hot Air Balloon Has Close Call

    A community in Carmel Valley had to help land a hot air balloon Saturday afternoon. NBC7's Regina Ruiz reports. (Published Sunday, Dec. 13, 2015)

    A North San Diego community came together Saturday night to help land a hot air balloon coming down over trees and houses. 

    Carmel Valley resident Rick Johnson, who caught the incident on video, said though hot air balloons have landed on neighborhood streets, cars and houses in the past, this situation was out of the ordinary. 

    “I thought 'Oh no, they are running out of wind, and they are running out of time, where are they going to put this thing down?'” Johnson said. “I caught it coming over the tree line and I thought it'll clear that, it’s going to clear that, there's no way that guy is not going to clear that. He didn't clear it."

    The closer the hot air balloon got to the ground, the more Johnson said he could see the people inside getting nervous. 

    “The people inside the thing they are freaking out because they don't know what's going to happen,” Johnson said.

    The hot air balloon, with a gondola full of people, dropped a line as it approached another section of houses. 

    “Two guys make a diving grab for the thing, they grab the thing and they start pulling and they start pulling it away from the house,” Johnson explained. 

    Residents sprung into action, holding tight to the rope to help guide the gondola to a safe landing.

    “All of a sudden 10 people come out of the house, and then another 10 people, and they are all grabbing it (the line),” he said.  

    In an urgent game of tug-of-war, the community helped tug the hot air balloon to the street. It landed on Sandshore Court in Carmel Valley safely. 

    “It bounced a little bit and everybody came out that was around, jumped on it to hold on to it and they are holding on, holding on,” says Johnson. “I've just never seen a community come together that fast.”