Man flies hot air balloon across Preston without a basket

People across Preston couldn't believe their eyes on Tuesday evening when they saw a man flying a hot air balloon - without a basket.

By Catherine Musgrove
Wednesday, 31st March 2021, 12:30 pm
Updated Wednesday, 31st March 2021, 2:03 pm

Pictures of the man sitting in a chair underneath the red balloon swept social media, with sightings of him in Ribbleton, Whitestake, Longton, Fulwood and Leyland between 6.30pm and 7pm.

The man appeared to be wearing a flat cap and have a bag dangling down by his side, which some people have suggested might have been a parachute.

The red balloon had no markings on it, and people were at first unsure whether the pilot was real or a dummy.

Picture taken as the balloon flew over Ribbleton. Courtesy of Stephen Geraghty.

There has been no information yet as to who was behind the stunt, or what the reason for the unusual flight was, though some commenters on social media said the practice is known as 'solo hot air ballooning', which has been popularised by the likes of American aviator Steve Fossett.

It is thought that the pilot landed safely in the Lea area.

Gary Bond said: "Saw him before when I was walking the Guild Wheel. He's brave!!"

Kellie Barton said: "He passed my garden in Eccleston, Chorley...was going at some speed".

The man can be seen wearing what looks like a flat cap. Picture by Steph Latham.

Nadia Wallace said: "Social distancing at its finest!"

Do you know who the man is? Contact: [email protected]

Picture by Steph Latham