FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: (480) 502-6999, [email protected]
March 28, 2018 Hot Air Balloon Incident
Phoenix, AZ – On the morning of Wednesday, March 28th, 2018, Hot Air Expeditions, a local Arizona hot air balloon tour operator, had an incident involving one (1) hot air balloon, which was inaccurately reported by local and national media to have had a crash landing. Phrases/printed words like, ”crash landing”, “plummeting to the ground” and “catching fire then crashing” were used on television broadcasts as well as online and print publications, all of which phrases/words, are not factual. The intent of this release is to provide the facts of the incident that occurred for public knowledge, and in hopes that the media will issue a retraction and remove any false information provided.
On the morning of Wednesday, March 28th, 2018, Hot Air Expeditions had four (4) hot air balloons operate scheduled hot air balloon flights in Phoenix, Arizona. One (1) of the four (4) hot air balloons, piloted by a Hot Air Expeditions Pilot with over 30 years of hot air balloon piloting experience, had a standard, safe hot air balloon flight, logging 65 minutes of flight in Phoenix, AZ. The landing, which was also a safe, calm, and routine landing, was facilitated as well. The balloon landed in a desert area, near a tree. Upon landing and stabilizing the hot air balloon, the hot air balloon pilot advised the thirteen (13) passengers onboard that the balloon was stabilized and to proceed with exiting the hot air balloon, per standard procedure. Once all passengers had exited the hot air balloon, it was observed that a branch of the nearby tree had caught fire, which was in turn touching the envelope of the hot air balloon, causing the hot air balloon envelope to catch fire, ultimately followed by the hot air balloon basket. All passengers were safely escorted away from the area, where fire extinguishers and water were used by Hot Air Expeditions staff members, and later the Phoenix Fire Department extinguished the remaining fire.
No passengers were injured or in harms way prior to, during, or after the incident, and were all in good spirits. When one passenger aboard this flight was asked if they would go hot air ballooning again, they answered “absolutely”.
Hot Air Expeditions has been providing hot air balloon tours in Phoenix, AZ for over 27 years, and is proud to be locally-owned and family operated. For any questions related to Hot Air Expeditions flight operations or services, please contact (480) 502-6999 or [email protected].