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.

Comments (23)
  1. Jon Severt says:

    Jeez, people are sure uptight these days.

  2. wow, what a bunch of barney fife wannabees. who do they think they are? it’s not their jurisdiction, it’s none of their business. go back to eating donuts you worthless little napoleons.

  3. Ken Price says:

    It never ceases to amaze how hysterical these “newscasters” get when reporting something so benign. It’s almost as if their hair is on fire.

  4. Eric Foster says:

    “There’s no place like home,..there’s no place like home!”

    “Lions, and tigers, and bears! Oh, my!”

    “We represent the Lollipop Guild The Lollipop Guild, the Lollipop Guild. And in the name of the Lollipop Guild We wish to welcome you to Munchkin Land”

    “I’ll get you my pretty… And your little dog too!”

    “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!”

    Sorry,..I just couldn’t help myself!

  5. I’ve seen bad reporting in my years, but this has to be THE most uninformed report I have ever watched. Had the reporters done ANY research, they would have learned that hot air balloons don’t have steering wheels. The ONLY way to move in a desired direction is by elevation. Sometimes, (as in the time we flew one in Vegas), the only elevation that takes you back home is very close to the ground. In our balloon, our pilot did the exact same thing, hovered within 10-20 feet above a surburban development. It was his ONLY OPTION. These pilots were behaving responsibly. They were obeying all laws. This is a NON-STORY.

  6. Jay Barbieri says:

    San Bernardino Sheriff?
    The same guys that let the muslimes shoot and chant their cult, found bad serial number on a firearm, and then LET THEM GO?!?!!!?

  7. “I was going outside to the bathroom”? Seriously?

    1. Balloonhead.
      Do. Not. Hire.

  8. Absolutely pathetic that this is actual news??!! Gimme a break, hello McFly, it’s a friggin hot air baloon. Typical California getting all bent outta shape over NOTHING!!!!


  10. I was going to add my 2 cents, but ‘seems it has already been said several times. Kudos to the balloon guys! 110% better than ’69 Camaro doing 120 down yer precious Affluenza quarantine.

  11. Mark Parksel says:

    I believe Yucaipa is in a congested area, which means high enough population density where the minimum safe altitudes specified by the FAA indicate that you must be 1000 feet above the highest obstacle within a horizontal radius of 2000 feet. This balloon was very clearly in violation of this, so they will have some definite explaining to do and likely will have their license revoked unless they have a good reason. And even if this was not considered as a congested area, the rule would still be 500 feet above the surface, and definitely not closer than 500 feet to any person, vehicle or structure, which again was clearly violated here.

  12. Bad Boy Bad Boy What you gonna do when they come for your hot air balloon?

    1. He’s just crazy enough to do it!

  13. Perry Bonney says:

    Would the deputies have shot down the balloon had they not landed, I wonder?

  14. Idiots, who know nothing about winds or hot air ballooning. Hello ! they can’t be steered ! Getting from point A to point B means taking advantage of wind direction…sometimes the wind direction you want is ONLY at the surface.

  15. Da Buckwheat says:

    If it is in the air, it is under the jurisdiction of the FAA. The local police don’t have jurisdiction. An operator of a hot air balloon has requirements for separation with persons and buildings while in flight. If there is any violation of FAA regulations here it they would start with “careless and reckless” (FAR 91.13)

  16. Came here from the Drudge Report. Left for http://www.PressCalifornia.com, which has more independent California news.

  17. Andrew Ziolo says:

    Truly disappointing…Hot air ballooning requires cooperation. Something I realized quickly in my training as landing zones were uncertain. The territorial attitude of the homeowner is overwhelming and the free spirited outdoor image California has appears limited in practice.

  18. Matt Colver says:

    The reason they are low is so they can land in the small field. If they vent and just drop out of the sky they’ll be much more dangerous. Balloons have absolute right of way more than any other aircraft because they can’t control the direction they go. They go where the wind takes them. The wind took them to the houses and they landed in a safe spot. No violations of any sort. You’d think the neighborhood people would be excited and interested, not scared.

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