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Balloon lands in sand dunes

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: July 10, 2013

LOW FLYING: The Headland Hotel's balloon, shortly before it made a "precautionary landing" after pilot John Armstrong noticed a "small technical issue". This picture was taken by Colin Retallick, a Perranporth resident.

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A HOT air balloon, piloted by a Newquay hotel owner and carrying three passengers, made a "precautionary" landing in sand dunes near Crantock on Sunday evening.

John Armstrong, of the Headland Hotel, noticed a "small technical issue" with one of the turning vents shortly after lifting off from the hotel grounds.

Witnesses saw the balloon spinning as it flew towards Perranporth from Fistral beach at around 8pm.

The emergency services were notified and four fire engines and an ambulance went to the landing spot at Perran Sands.

Mr Armstrong said he had called air traffic controllers at Newquay Cornwall airport to report that he may have to make a "precautionary landing", but later played down the seriousness of the incident.

"There was no danger but I was flying fairly close to the ground and I always like to let them know what the balloon is doing," he said. "We had a safe and normal landing and I was surprised when four fire appliances and then a paramedic arrived. However, they were very useful in helping pack up the balloon."

An airport spokesman said the pilot had been in radio contact, saying the balloon was "rotating".

She said: "We thought there could be a problem so we called the emergency services and advised them of the call. The balloon then landed where it had intended to at about 8.30pm."

Mr Armstrong said the balloon would be making more flights over Newquay.

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