Black Press File Photo (Lisa Mazurek/Morning Star)

Hot air balloon takes Kelowna neighbourhood by surprise

A hot air balloon landed on a road in Dilworth Mountain Estates July 31

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a balloon.

Kelowna residents in Dilworth Mountain Estates were surprised to see an air balloon landing in their neighbourhood, July 31.

Owner of Okanagan Ballooning John Klempner said crews checked the upper air patterns before flights but the winds changed.

The balloon started at Heritage Christian School and “we got three-quarters of the way to Benvoulin when the winds changed and took us up towards Dilworth. So we figured ‘fine we’ll fly into Glenmore and land in the farm fields there,’ but we got up over Dilworth and then the winds stopped,” he said, which forced the balloon to land in the street.

READ MORE: Morning balloon landing at mall

“If the winds stop, a road with underground power lines is a good enough place to bring a balloon down safety,” Klempner said.

No one was injured.

He said neighbourhood landings happen three to four times a year.

“That’s just the whole sport of ballooning. We can’t control direction at all,” he said.

A chase crew was also following below to ensure people didn’t roam into the streets, he said.

READ MORE: Surprise hot air balloon landings in Kelowna

Two Kelowna couples were in the basket at the time of landing, “and both couples just loved it.”

“The people all came out of their homes and we showed them all the different parts of the balloon and everybody loved it. It was like a block party because everyone came out and looked, it was something new,” Klempner said.

“The problem is weather is weather and cannot be predicted very well,” he said.

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carli.berry@kelownacapnews.com

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