Pixabay/ hazelw90
Pixabay/ hazelw90

Couple Lands in Icy Water after Hot Air Balloon Ride Goes Wrong

Jené Liebenberg
Feb 28, 2021
03:00 A.M.

One hot air balloon taking part in Utah's Balloons and Tunes Round Up took an icy dip leaving its passengers chilled to the bone but safe onshore.


KSL photojournalist Matt Newey and his girlfriend Carlie Ann Gallagher had a surprising end to their romantic hot air balloon trip. The couple boarded a balloon that was taking part in the Balloons and Tunes Round Up, a hot air balloon festival.

With a good weather forecast and the test balloons predicting only smooth sailing, the icy landing in Kanab that Newey and his other half had was quite unexpected.

Colorful hot air balloon in the air | Source: Pixabay/ hazelw90

Colorful hot air balloon in the air | Source: Pixabay/ hazelw90


One moment the couple was enjoying their hot air balloon ride, and the next, they were plunging towards a reservoir directly below them. With the pilot warning them about their wet landing, the couple braced to land in the water.


High winds caught hold of their hot air balloon, which drove them down towards the water. The emergency landing had the Utah couple soaked in the freezing water, but the cold didn't sustain any injuries. Gallagher elaborated on the experience:

"It all happened so quick. All of a sudden, we were really close to the water, and then all of a sudden, my feet and whole body was wet."



After taking an icy dip in the water, the pilot told his passengers to remain in the hot air balloon's basket. He managed to maneuver the flying balloon out of the water and had them in the air again.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) confirmed that the plane experienced a failure of the right-hand engine.

After their unexpected polar plunge, they landed safely with no complaints other than being wet and cold all the way through. The pilot did an excellent job of managing the tricky situation and ensuring his passengers' safety.



One would think that after such a harrowing experience that Newey and Gallagher would be cured from flying in balloons for the time being, but the two are more determined to step into the basket again than ever.

Newey shared that Kanab and the Balloons and Tunes Round Up will be seeing him and Gallagher again shortly, with the scary landing not being enough to scare them off. Gallagher said:

"It was a super fun event, I would definitely come again. I would ride in a hot air balloon again... I would do it in a heartbeat."


Newey and Gallagher's shocking landing isn't the only one that has been in the headlines recently, with a United Airlines Boeing 777 having to do an emergency landing at Denver airport.


The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) confirmed that the plane experienced a failure of the right-hand engine, which forced the aircraft on its way to Honolulu to land at the closest airport in order to avoid a crash.

The 231 passengers and 10 crew onboard all escaped the landing unscathed as no injuries were reported. Debris from the plane made its way down into residential areas below.

People on the ground fled indoors to escape possible harm from the debris that was falling, and the police from Broomfield, where the pieces of metal landed, asked that residents do not move it for the sake of the investigation.

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