Excitement as hot air balloon comes down in Letchworth’s Grange Recreation Ground

The Virgin balloon landing at the Grange Recreation Ground in Letchworth. Photo: Joe Schipani

The Virgin balloon landing at the Grange Recreation Ground in Letchworth. Photo: Joe Schipani - Credit: Archant

The owners of a hot-air balloon that came down in Letchworth yesterday have said the landing was completely normal.

There was much excitement as the balloon – operated by Virgin Balloon Flights, based in Shuttleworth near Biggleswade – unexpectedly came down in the Grange Recreation Ground in the afternoon with passengers and a pilot aboard.

But a spokeswoman for the firm said there was nothing unusual about the landing, explaining that balloons move with the wind and cannot be ‘steered’ as some people might imagine.

“Yesterday’s landing in Letchworth was completely normal and all our passengers had a wonderful time,” she said.

“They enjoyed their traditional post-landing champagne toast before heading on their way.


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“Hot air balloons can’t be steered in a traditional sense, they travel with the wind and are brought in to land by our highly-experienced pilots when they see a large enough, clear open space, as per aviation law.

“They often cause a lot of excitement when they do land and we really enjoyed seeing some of the photographs taken by passers-by at the recreation ground yesterday.”

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She added that the firm has a Spot the Balloon competition running – spot a Virgin balloon in the sky, take a photo and post it on social media with the hashtag #balloonspotter and you could win a flight of your own.

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