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Deputies pull over hot air balloons flying close to homes

UPI News Service, 02/08/2018 

Authorities in California said deputies who noticed some unsafe behavior pulled over a pair of unusual vehicles -- hot air balloons.

The Yucaipa Police Department said the San Bernardino County Sheriff's dispatch received numerous 911 calls about 7:53 a.m. Tuesday about two hot air balloons that may have collided with a home.

Deputies responded to the Chapman Heights neighborhood, where they observed the two hot air balloons hitting trees and coming within 5 feet of rooftops.

"Deputies were able to make contact with both pilots, and requested them to land immediately," the police department said. "One balloon was able to safely land in the high school baseball field. The second balloon was able to land safely in the oranges groves of a private residence in Mentone."

Investigators determined both pilots were private balloon owners flying for recreation.

The deputies were unable to locate any damaged residences to confirm the balloons had collided with a home.

"Deputies identified both pilots, and will be forwarding a report to the Federal Aviation Administration for further review of any possible FAA violations," police said.

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