Balloon makes unexpected landing

Douglas McIntire/Sun Journal

A balloon rests in the parking lot at Kmart on Center Street in Auburn on Monday evening after an unexpected landing. A change in the wind caused pilot Derald Young to set the balloon down short of the intended landing zone in the Auburn Mall.

AUBURN — A hot air balloon made an unexpected landing in the Kmart parking lot Monday evening, with the eight passengers in the basket unharmed.

Douglas McIntire/Sun Journal

A parking lot light lies broken in the Kmart parking lot in Auburn on Monday evening after it was hit by a descending balloon piloted by Derland Young of Damn Yankee Balloons.

Derald Young, pilot for Damn Yankee Balloons, said the flight was going according to plan along the Androscoggin River when an unexpected breeze kicked in around sunset.

At about 6:30 p.m. the balloon began to slow down and crossed the tree line behind the store. The balloon's chase crew was on scene and communicating with Young about the best options for landing.

According to Young, the intended landing zone was the Auburn Mall area, across Center Street from Kmart.

With concerns about vehicles, traffic and power lines at the far end of the parking lot, Young carefully dropped his lines to his waiting crew. The basket bumped a parking lot light and broke its arm before landing.

Rough landing, but happy ending
Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Alexandrah Gagne-Robertson, 12, of Lewiston helps wrap up a balloon in the parking lot of Kmart on Center Street in Auburn on Monday night. Her grandfather, Marcel Gagne, was a crew member of the balloon that made an unexpected landing.

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FRANK EARLEY's picture

Unexpected landing?????

Seems to me, the guy was more likely than not, planning to land the thing eventually. Most every balloon I've ever seen has landed exactly where it wants to, not necessarily where the pilot wants it to......

Steve  Dosh's picture

Frank , Ayuh ?  L O L @ "

Frank , Ayuh ?  L O L @ " Derald Young, pilot for Damn Yankee Balloons "
No one got hurt , thank goodness
Q: What's the difference between a golfer and a balloonist ?
A: The golfer goes whack " Damn ! " and the balloonist goes " Damn ! " w h a c k •
c ya's at the fair ? /s , Steve Young A or K ?
16:16 Maine time ?

Steve  Dosh's picture

Balloon makes unexpected landing

Mainers Tues 09:00 est
hth /s , Steve


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