YUCAIPA (CBSLA) — It’s not every day you get this close to a hot air balloon.
Of course when you’re in a residential neighborhood, you don’t usually want to get this close!
“This shocked me. When I saw how low they were, I thought, ‘Uh oh, there might be a problem,'” recalled homeowner Tony Lumsden.
Why else what these balloons be flying just a few feet above homes and trees? The sheriff’s department says several Chapman Heights homeowners called 911, worried there was about to be a crash in their neighborhood.
But Lumsden says the pilots seemed to be in control.
“I heard them talking, saying, ‘Good morning,’ talking to someone on the street over there. They didn’t sound stressed,” he said.
Deputies told CBS2/KCAL9 they were able to contact the pilots and ask them to land. Students at Yucaipa High School watched as one balloon headed towards their softball field.
“I was going outside to the bathroom and I just saw this blue basket thing, and I was really confused,” said Charli Champman.
“All I remember was, ‘Oh hi!’ Everyone waving, it was all fun,” Sophia Sandoval said.
Students told CBS2/KCAL9 the deputies were yelling commands at the pilot over a loudspeaker.
“I guess what they would normally say in a pursuit: ‘Stop, lower it,'” said Cheyenne Creamer. “Except it was a hot air balloon, so it was a little weird.”
“I thought it was because they were running out of whatever they use. But it was a safe landing, no one got hurt,” Joseph Ammerman said.
There was no damage to the school or any of the homes the balloonist flew over.
Deputies say they will forward a report to the FAA to see if the pilots violated any flight rules.