Valley News -

By Jeff Pack

Hot air balloon pilot forced to land in Murrieta community


Last updated 2/7/2019 at 12:18pm

Murrieta Police Department/Facebook

The pilot of a hot air balloon was forced to make an emergency landing in Murrieta on Thursday, Feb. 7.

MURRIETA - A Temecula hot air balloon pilot was forced to land in The Colony neighborhood in Murrieta on Thursday, Feb. 7.

Pilot Brian Lynch was doing his family a favor by taking his parents' balloon out after it was packed up wet. He said he thought about taking off from Winchester, but decided to launch in Temecula.

"I only took off in those sporty conditions because I was flying solo, without any passengers," he said. "I checked everything, checked the forecast and everything looked fine, but it became slightly more breezy than expected. I had been in contact with my ground crew, they were in contact with me."

Lynch explained that although the conditions were fairly stable, "There is such a thing as too stable with the air only going in two directions. It essentially led to a flight track that was less than regular."

When he was floating over The Colony neighborhood, he was looking to land the balloon on the golf course, but the wind became very still and he took the opportunity to put it down safely in the street.

"I want to say thank you to the Murrieta Police Department and Fire Department for such a speedy response and being so kind and earnest with me considering my position at the time," Lynch said. "The neighbors were also so nice. A lady from the home association came by to take pictures and she was super kind to me. I want to say a big thank you to everyone who helped."

Lynch insisted that all in all, it was a safe operation and landing.

"While today's flight was irregular and somewhat risky to landing in a neighborhood, it was an extremely safe landing," he said.

Lynch said he was uninjured and there was no report of any damage to property.


Reader Comments

tomsuttle writes:

My home in Murrieta sits on couple of acres, and as far as I'm concerned the balloon pilots can land here anytime. I think these beautiful, magnificent, easily identified flying objects are a most special part of the overall quality of life in and around the Temecula Valley; and I hope our local governments always do as much as possible to support and promote this remarkably spectacular sport... this irreplaceable lifestyle enhancement.


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