Wedding party in for a ride with balloon's landing - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Wedding party in for a ride with balloon's landing

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) – A hot-air balloon landed on a Sorrento Valley roadway Thursday evening.

During a wedding ceremony the balloon landed on Lusk Boulevard near Mira Mesa Boulevard at about 5:40 p.m.

“We had an awesome experience, that was fun,” said groom, Ruben Mendoza.

Moments after the newlyweds said their “I do's” trouble was in the air.

“We didn't feel like we were in any danger, we were just slow in the balloon. It was fun, it was fun,” said the bride's father, Curtis Kam.

After Ruben and Sequoia Mendoza said their vows the pilot of Magical Adventures says the north wind gave up and they were heading further south than he wanted.

“As the flight materialized about 20 minutes into flight the northbound wind was present but went away,” said pilot, Phil Brandt.

As the pilot cranked the flames from Chopper 8 you could see the big balloon with gold moon and stars bounce up and down trying to catch a wind current. It looked as though witnesses on the ground were in arms reach of the basket.

“At some point I had to make a decision do I continue into the Penasquitos Canyon Preserve which all the passengers and equipment would have to be physically removed by hand like them hiking out and carrying out equipment,” said Brandt.

Before the basket landing the pilot clipped a tree, "We hit the tree harder than the landing,” said Kam. “The tree helped us and when we landed it was pretty soft.”

Brandt says he intentionally hit the tree for a softer landing that placed them in the northbound lane of Lusk Boulevard just north of Mira Mesa Boulevard.

“We had a very professional driver and he did the best he had to do to get out us out safely and we are very happy to be in one piece,” said the groom's relative, Maria Hafferkamp.

When they landed there were no cars but when traffic started dodging the basket a  Good Samaritan rushed in to help.

“Right away I saw them and asked them for help and the pilot asked us to push them to the parking lot just to be safe,” said Gaston Martinez.

The Good Samaritan said he was just doing the right thing.

“We are lucky for people everywhere who volunteer to help right away,” said Hafferkamp.

No injuries were reported.

The pilot says despite the gloomy weather, the rain created the wind he needed. He says he would have been ballooning even a wedding wasn't scheduled.

CBS News 8 archives show in November, 2014, a pilot for Magical Adventures made an unexpected landing in Rancho Penasquitos because of a wind change. Eight people were on board. No one was injured.


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