Watch moment hot air balloon stops traffic as it lands next to NDR

A screenshot from the video of the hot air balloon over the NDR.

A screenshot from the video of the hot air balloon over the NDR. - Credit: Chelsey Honnor

Drivers on the NDR had a view to remember after a hot air balloon floated above the carriageway and landed on grass next to it.

The clip, filmed by Chelsey Honnor, was taken on the Broadland Northway between the Fir Covert Road and Fakenham Road roundabouts between 8.30pm and 9pm on Friday.

It shows the hot air balloon, which belongs to Broadland Balloons, slowly descending over the road, with traffic stopping and slowing to allow it to pass, before eventually landing on grassland next to the road.

The company runs flights across Norfolk and Suffolk for those after a bird's eye view of the region, and Friday's outing was one of its first since the first lockdown in 2020.

Sean Simington, Friday evening's pilot, said it had been a "fantastic" flight and excellent to be back - and reassured people the landing was very much planned, with the site chosen about half a mile ahead.

The company's chief pilot Jon Rudoni said while hot air balloons' direction were often dictated by the wind, pilots had "massive precision" when it came to height.

He said several factors went into deciding where to land, often dictated by the time of day, and year.

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"What we have to remember and what's in our minds is that people on the ground may misunderstand what's happening," he said.

"You wouldn't be surprised if somebody is in their car and dialling 999 as they're worried, when everything is fine."

He said a pilot might not choose to land near a road during rush hour, when more double decker buses and lorries are travelling, so they didn't frighten or distract drivers.

"This time of year it can be tricky for a balloon pilot," he said, "because crops are in the fields and animals are out grazing where we might have wanted to land."

Mr Simington said, since gaining his licence in the 1980s, "every flight is different" and that, while they are in control, pilots can never be sure of their final landing point at the outset.

"I always say to passengers 'why are you here'? You are here for an adrenaline buzz, and for the experience," he said. "It was really nice to be back with everybody."

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