Hot air balloon makes surprise landing in Jeffco neighborhood

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JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. — What goes up, must come down and that’s exactly what happened to a hot air passenger balloon ride in Jefferson County Monday morning.

While the flight went off without a hitch, it was the landing that caught a lot of people’s eyes.

About 9 a.m., it descended. “I hear this noise and I turn around and there is the hot air balloon coming out of the sky and landing 50 feet away from my truck,” said a neighbor.

No one was hurt, police and fire didn’t show up, but the neighbors got a kick out of it, “I was still in my bathrobe so I was standing at the door, we saw it once it hit the ground.”

What the neighbors saw was a basket and balloon owned by Ken Tadolini who runs and operates Rocky Mountain Hot Air Balloon rides.

Up for over an hour and a half, enough fuel for an additional 45 minutes, the neighborhood below looked like a good area to land, “If we had been going very fast we would’ve found another, and bigger spot to land in,” said Tadolini.

The two passengers on board were from Texas, and were celebrating a wedding anniversary, “They loved it, they loved it, they thought, ‘You could put it down there?’ Yeah, yeah, that’s the spot,” said Tadolini.

Tadolini says landing the balloon in neighborhoods or at schools is very common, he does it ten to twelve times every year, and he says that’s all according to FAA protocol.

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