San Diego, CA – Don Myers was inside his Rancho Penasquitos home watching television in the middle of the afternoon when he noticed something cover the windows. He and his wife, Ellen, discovered over a dozen strangers meandering in their backyard, and a deflated blue-and-yellow balloon draped over a tree and part of the house. An enormous passenger basket destroyed their fence, otherwise nothing else property-wise appeared damaged at the time. It had contained a wedding ensemble of guests along with the bride and groom, Kerin and Jonathan Narcisse.
The balloon is property of the Skysurfer Hot Air Balloon Rides.
According to Fox6 Now News, Emergency crews were dispatched to the site of the accident in the 13100 block of Avenida del General. The 14 people were taken to the Pomerado Hospital for evaluation, but no major injuries were reported.
Mark Carlile, a neighbor who witnesses the decent, described how the balloon landed.
“It just hit the ground, hit my hill and then hit my neighbor’s fence and crashed. As this was happening, I was running up the hill to go see if I could help, because I was expecting to find a lot worse than what I found.”
Hot air balloons work based on a very basic scientific principle: warmer air rises in cooler air. Essentially, hot air is lighter than cool air, because it has less mass per unit of volume.
A hot air balloon consists of a bag called the envelope which traps and contains heated air. The heated air inside the envelope makes it buoyant since it has a lower density than the relatively cold air outside the envelope. Hot air balloons cannot fly beyond the atmosphere.
Suspended beneath the tethered balloon is a gondola (wicker basket) or capsule where the passengers ride. Between the basket and balloon is a source of heat, in most cases an open flame. Unlike gas balloons, the envelope does not have to be sealed at the bottom since the air near the bottom of the envelope is at the same pressure as the air surrounding.
Modern balloon envelopes are generally made from nylon fabric and the inlet of the balloon, closest to the burner flame, is made from fire resistant material such as Nomex.