Hot air balloon forced to land in neighborhood near Remington
A hot air balloon flown by Robert Thomas with Balloons Unlimited Inc., Middleburg, Va., made an unexpected landing near Remington Saturday. Fauquier-Times Staff Photo/Jay Pinsky
A hot air balloon flown by Robert Thomas of Balloons Unlimited Inc., and managed out of Middleburg, made an unexpected landing on Helm Street in the Meadows neighborhood near Remington at about 8 a.m. Saturday.
The balloon had four passengers plus the pilot.
No one was injured and no property damage was recorded during the landing, according to Cpl. John Slaughter, Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office, who was one of the county sheriff’s officers on-scene responding to the 911 call of a balloon making an emergency landing in the neighborhood.
According to Thomas, nothing went wrong during the flight and he preferred to land in the neighborhood than in an agricultural field because the farmers would be mad.
“The neighborhood was the best place to land because the power lines are all underground and if we landed in the agricultural fields I might damage crops or get bit by a tick and get Lyme disease again, which I already have,” said Thomas.
Aboveground power lines run along the western edge of the neighborhood, which the balloon flew over just minutes before the pilot landed it on Helm Street.
“We had a balloon land in a crop field yesterday and the farmer called the balloon festival and complained,” said Thomas.
Thomas said his balloon, which took off from Liberty High School in Bealeton, had plenty of fuel and that there were no mechanical failures. In fact, Thomas said nothing went wrong and he just needed a place to land despite not making his intended landing area at The Flying Circus in Bealeton.
Ron and Janet Humphries of Goldvein were two of the four passengers in the balloon.
“Nothing happened, we just needed to land, “ said Ron Humphries. “The pilot was very calm as we came down.”
Thomas said he plans to fly again Saturday during the weekend-long Balloon Festival held at the Flying Circus in the same balloon he recovered in the heavily populated neighborhood.
“I’d fly in one again,” said Janet Humphries. “The landing was actually very smooth.”
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