Local couple in hot air balloon drama

A Lurgan woman has described the moment she was caught in a hot air balloon drama after it made an ‘unscheduled landing’ in someone’s back garden in Las Vegas - bringing a whole new meaning to lounging beside the pool while on holiday.

Vicky Uprichard (24) from Gilford Road in the town was on holiday in Las Vegas last week and on her third day in decided to take a trip in a hot air balloon with her boyfriend, Ross Houston.

They had pre-booked the hot air balloon excursion for first thing on the Sunday morning - up at 5am to see the sunrise over the Las Vegas skyline from the air

All started pretty normally in an extraordinary kind of way: ”It was brilliant, amazing you didn’t realise you were going up, the weather was lovely but quite cold.

“The flight was only supposed to last an hour but two hours later we were still up there.

“The pilot didn’t really tell us anything, he tried to land a couple of times. There wasn’t much he could say because children were on board.

“He just told us to bend our knees as we came in for a landing.

“We came down in the back of someone’s house landing in their garden, we literally just missed the pool.

“I was panicking but as long as we missed the pool I was happy. It was more for the children I was worried - there were two children on board, the wee one wouldn’t have been more than eight. The other was about 12 or 13.

“After we landed we had to get out one by one as quick as we could and then the pilot just went up again by himself to land somewhere safer.”

When asked had the scare put her off trying such a trip again Vicky was quick to answer: “I definitely want to do it again, maybe with a better landing.”

The ‘precautionary landing’ 9as the company described it) made the news in Las Vegas, as Vicky explained: “We were out for dinner and people texted us about the news bulletins.”

Describing the moment the balloon came down Vicky said: “The landing wasn’t too bad. there was a bank in the garden, we landed on the bank among lights and trees and plants, so everything was broke.

“When we got out there was a sigh of relief. People in the house were still asleep, we had to go and wake them up. We had just missed their roof.”