Hot Air Balloon Emergency Grounds Wedding Party in CA Street

Hot Air Balloon (Mel Evans / Associated Press)
Mel Evans / Associated Press

Hot Air balloon pilot Phil Brandt told reporters he used a tree to his advantage in easing to an emergency landing on a Sorrento Valley city street Thursday evening with six members of a wedding party aboard.

Most in the wedding party declined to speak with reporters, but the bride’s father told ABC 10, “We’re never going to forget this.”

Brandt, a 25-year balloon pilot veteran, is no stranger to unexpected landings. He offered a defense for the party’s detour, describing a shift in winds as cause for the unplanned landing.

Brandt portrayed his feelings during the landing to Fox 5 San Diego as “situationally aware,” as opposed to fearful. The pilot explained his reasoning for the street landing, saying, “We go where the wind takes us, only down wind.”

No injuries due to the incident were reported.

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