Monday, May 07, 2007

Bumpy landing in Lancaster

But first... I was reported as a UFO last Thursday morning whilst flying on
the edge of the Drakensberg.

It was a stunning clear morning so I guess whoever reported us as such were
miles away and not realising what they saw.

Anyhow to the main story for this weekend.

LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa - Cheryl Ramsey wanted to give her husband, Guy, a gift
to remember for their 18th anniversary.

Neither expected it would be this memorable.

The Ramseys, of Upper Marlboro, Md., were among a dozen people who were
riding in a hot-air balloon that crashed at about 7:15 p.m. Saturday into a
tree and then into a field off Sensenig Road between Frysville and Grist
Mill roads, in Earl Township.

"This was different, very different," said Mrs. Ramsey, 43, who was relaying
her story to a group of spectators, who appeared to be mostly Mennonite
farmers and their families from the area. "It was really nice, except for
the ending."

The Ramseys and the pilot said they didn't need medical treatment, but seven
people were taken to Lancaster General Hospital and two others were taken to
Ephrata Community Hospital, said Martindale Fire Company Chief Anthony

According to witnesses, the most serious injuries appeared to be someone
with a broken collarbone and a woman possibly with two broken ankles. From
what he could determine, Groff said there was no one with life-threatening
injuries. He had no names available at press time.

The hot-air balloon, operated by U.S. Hot Air Balloon Team, St. Peters,
ascended from a field next to the Netherlands Inn in Strasburg at about 6
p.m. While attempting to land in a grassy area in the Earl Township field,
the wind suddenly shifted, forcing the aircraft into a tree. The balloon
then lifted and before crashing into the ground with the basket landing
sideways, causing some passengers to fall on top of one another, according
to Mrs. Ramsey, a schoolteacher.

She and her husband, 48, a Maryland state police trooper, were in good
spirits and planned to eat out upon their return to their Lancaster hotel.
They said the pilot did everything he could, and that the crash was simply
an accident.

"Unfortunately, you can't control the wind," said Mrs. Ramsey, who still
wants certificates from the company showing that she and her husband
completed their first hot-air balloon ride. She also took a twig from the
tree they collided with for a souvenir.

She said she purchased the ride as a surprise for the Ramseys' wedding
anniversary, which was two months ago. They were waiting for a nice spring

Said her husband: "Anything you can walk away from is a good landing."

No comments: