Virgin rubbish claims hot air balloon forced to land in Sheffield field ‘after running out of gas’

Virgin Balloon Flights have insisted it was ‘completely normal’ that one of its craft landed in a Sheffield field yesterday – despite reports it ran out of gas.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 5th June 2019, 11:23 am

People spotted the balloon flying overhead on Monday evening after it took off from Sheffield Transport Club at around 7.15pm.

Pictures soon began appearing on Facebook of the balloon hovering very low to the ground with some people saying that it ‘skirted over their homes’.

The balloon eventually landed in High Green Park at around 8.25pm with reports on social media fearing that it had ‘crash landed’ after ‘running out of gas’.

One passenger, who was one of the nine people on board the balloon as it landed, said the experience was ‘quite scary’.

She said: “It was our third attempt at landing but we had no choice but to land there because we were running out of gas.

“It was quite scary before because we were so low and you could actually see people in their homes and we were talking to people in their gardens.

“We did crash into some trees which was not nice but no-one was hurt.

Virgin Hot Air Balloon in Sheffield - Credit: Sarah Voyse

“The police said they had lots of calls so they followed us for 20 minutes to make sure we were all OK.”

However, Virgin Balloon Flights have refuted this claim, stating both the flight and landing were ‘completely normal’ with no emergency of any kind.

A spokesperson said: “Our big red balloon seems to have caused quite a bit of excitement in Sheffield, especially when it came in to land.

“Both the flight and landing were all completely normal, with no emergency of any kind.

“It isn’t possible to ‘steer’ a hot air balloon in the traditional sense – instead they travel where the wind takes them, before being brought into land by our highly experienced pilots where they see a suitable, large open space at the end of the flight.

“While landings often happen further out in the countryside, some landings do happen in more built-up areas, which is when they tend to cause the most excitement.

“Passengers and our balloon crew then packed up the balloon and enjoyed a traditional Champagne toast to celebrate a wonderful flight, before going on their way.”

Virgin launched a new flight location in Sheffield in April.