Pilot Lands Hot Air Balloon in Neighborhood Field
No, you weren't seeing things. That really was a hot air balloon landed in a field on Joliet Highway in New Lenox, near Bluestone Bay.
Bill Buchar, of Joliet, took off from Joliet Regional Airport and was eyeing the general New Lenox area for a place to set it down.
Wind picked up and carried the balloon in the direction of a field at Joliet Highway and Bluestone Bay Drive. It was as good as it gets for a landing spot, Buchar said.
Despite residents' shock at seeing the massive aircraft in such a residential area, Buchar said the field was a smart place to land. Onlookers often think hot air balloon pilots "aim" for a specific landing zone, he said, but really it's a general area, then wherever the wind takes you.
"It's very common within the course of a flight to have two or three different (landing) locations picked out," said Buchar, also a commercial pilot. "A vacant clearing is an ideal place to land."
Sign up for our email newsletter.