Hot air balloon makes emergency landing over Melbourne skyline

An early morning hot air balloon flight over Melbourne got bumpier than expected on Wednesday when it crashed into the roof of an apartment.

No one was injured in the incident, which was filmed by passenger Jayde Magookin as he and 12 others bounced off rooftops and treetops.

Pilot Nick Brau said the balloon was new, but would not fly properly.

Mr Magookin, 34, said the crash landing was “terrifying” but he and other passengers could laugh about it now.

The balloon – which was making its maiden flight in the Australian town – ended up draped over two rooftops in the southern suburb of Elwood, and footage showed the basket lying in a parking lot.

Mr Brau, who is the director of Liberty Balloon Flights, managed to avoid lamp posts and overhead wires, but some buildings were damaged as he struggled to maintain altitude.

The pilot told the BBC he wasn’t sure what was wrong and was shaken by the crash as it’s “not very nice when these things happen”. An investigation will now be carried out by the Australian Transport Safety Board.

Mr Brau said it was his first accident in 27 years of hot air ballooning, and passengers praised his ability to stay calm and land safely.

The balloon was part of a fleet of six, with the other five balloons landing safely.

“A whole series of bad luck”

Mr Magookin said he noticed something was wrong after the hot air balloon took a different route than the rest of the group. Passengers could then feel the balloon “graze the treetops” and “narrowly miss the power lines”.

His wife, Aelia, 30, can be seen in the video crouching nervously in the basket as it hits a roof and plows through the trees.

The couple were booked for the dawn flight two weeks ago – but Mr Magookin was recovering from a recent heart attack.

It was “a whole series of bad luck”, he told the BBC.

However, when asked if he would fly in a hot air balloon again, Mr Magookin laughed and said ‘always, yes’. Although he once had a fear of heights, he said the accident strangely gave him more confidence to overcome his fear.