Pilot Escapes Injury After Hot-Air Balloon Catches Fire
A hot air balloon disaster was narrowly avoided thanks to some luck and a number of people who leaped into action. It happened Sunday morning on June 24, 2018, at a Michigan Challenge Balloon Festival Flyover when a balloon carrying one man struck a power line which caused it to catch fire. A hot-air balloon pilot escaped injury after his balloon struck power lines and fell into a southeastern Michigan lake.
The reporter Jenifer Ann Wilson said that the quick action of strangers may have saved the pilots life:
“The hot air balloon crashed into these electrical lines, setting the balloon and the basket on fire while the pilot was still inside. Then, it flew over and crashed into Thompson Lake.
There Dave Park was bass fishing when he looked up and noticed the balloon fest early morning flyover.”
“Yeah, I was taking a few pictures,” Dave said for the moments before his admiration turned to fear.
“One balloon started coming down. When it hit the wires there was a big flash and an explosion,” Dave gave his testimony about the event.
Leaving wires sparkling and dangling, littering the shore with charred pieces of balloon, his basked and balloon were on fire while he was in it.
Dave Dilworth, who was on shore saw the entire event: “He was kind of flailing away and yelling and there is where he broke free. He hit the water in about 20 or 30 yards from the shore and the guy who was fishing came to him from the other way. I was calling 911 and I guess he was on 911 too.”
After the hot air balloon collided with the power lines, igniting an explosion, it landed in a near lake where the bystanders soon came to the rescue and pulled the unharmed pilot to safety.
Lucky for the pilot, two fishermen came to his rescue.
“To be honest with you, I thank the pilot for being alive, because when we got over there I thought it was not going to turn out so well but it did,” Park adds.
Park brought the pilot safely to the rescue crew who was waiting at the shore. The two fishermen were not alone, other boats hooked and dragged them to the shore. They only took and had the pilot and he was holding onto the balloon. They (the fishermen) might not hope to get such a big catch that day but they certainly got their hands and fished out something really enormous: they have the balloon.
If you found the bravery and the humanity of these fishermen inspiring, you can take a look of another amazing video with a fortunate ending. Watch as a 79-year-old pilot escapes serious injury in Michigan crash. Authorities say the 79-year-old pilot escaped serious injury after crashing and flipping a small plane as he came into land at a grass landing strip in Michigan.
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