Watch the moment hot air balloon makes emergency landing in Sutton town centre
A hot air balloon was forced to make an emergency landing due to low fuel – in the middle of Sutton town centre.
British Transport Police raced to the scene as a hot air balloon was witnessed flying dangerously low across the Ashfield town.
Eye witnesses saw the balloon narrowly avoid hitting rows of houses, before finally landing in the rear of the Nags Head pub.
The experienced pilot, 69-year-old Andrew Davidson, a hot air balloon navigator for 35 years, described the incident as ‘once in a lifetime’.
He said: “That is a once in a lifetime for me – it is a most unusual event.
“It was a forced landing; in other words, you don’t choose to land in that particular location.
“Briefly I was already looking for fields to land in and found nothing suitable and so I found myself flying over Sutton-in-Ashfield with insufficient fuel to clear the built-up area.
“The only way to stop the balloon was to hit the far wall of the shopping centre, so we hit the far wall at about five miles per hour.
“We have to avoid livestock; we have to avoid power lines and we have to avoid standing crop if possible.
“Almost always you can find a field that you can land in, I was just unable to do so on that occasion.”
The Nottingham and Derby Hot Air Balloon Club members took off from Bramcote Park and had planned to fly for an hour, eventually landing in the open countryside.
Instead, the aircraft was forced into a surprise landing right next to the the Nags Head pub due to a lack of fuel.
Officers from British Transport Police rushed to the scene and provided first aid to those that needed it, with one woman on board bumping her nose during the landing.
British Transport Police Nottinghamshire posted on their Twitter account: "Whilst on patrol, officers have witnessed a hot air balloon crashing in Sutton town centre.
"Officers have assisted with first aid, before helping get the balloon under control.”
Witness Graham Fox said: “It nearly hit the row of bungalows where I live a few minutes before it crashed.
"It came very close to clipping the rooftops and was clearly struggling to maintain height before finding a landing spot.”