Pasco balloon landing raises safety concerns

Wesley Chapel, Florida – It was quite the sight in a Wesley Chapel neighborhood when a hot-air balloon was forced to be put down in the Seven Oaks community.

"It was a little scary just because I look up and I was like wow," said resident Jennifer Pilch.

While on a tour about 7 a.m. Thursday morning, the pilot was headed toward the Tampa North Flight Center Airport when it ran out of wind and was forced to land on Mystic Oak Boulevard.

"It looked like it was going to touch the top of our roof," Pilch said.

While the balloon did not hit any homes or cars, it did land in the middle of a neighborhood and it has some residents worried about safety since this isn't the first time that it has happened.

"My safety is very important for our community," said resident Tim Nguyen, who saw the balloon come down. "It could it have landed on somebody's property - a car, a house."

The owner of the company responsible for the balloon, American Balloons, said the chance of the balloon damaging a house is small.

"The aircraft itself is extremely safe," said Tom Warren. "The potential is there but probability: no."

Incidents that involve hot air balloons are rare with the National Transportation Safety Board investigating 775 since 1964. Sixteen people died while hot air ballooning from 2002 to 2012, according to number tracked by the NTSB.

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