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GTDC refutes crash-landing report of hot air balloon

Denying reports that its hot air balloon had made an emergency landing at Panchwadi on Monday, the Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) has clarified that it was a scheduled landing at the site.

21st March 2017, 07:00 Hrs

Corporation says landing was safe at Panchwadi

the goan I network
There were reports that the hot air balloon carrying four tourists, pilot and controller on board had made an emergency landing in Panchwadi.   
When contacted, GTDC Managing Director Nikhil 
Desai dismissed the reports 
as rumours.   
“I have personally enquired with the pilot and the controller and they said it was a normal landing and not a crash. Someone must have spread this rumour,” Desai said.
“It may be a first landing in that area and people unaware about the presence of the hot air balloon may have felt it had made an emergency landing,” he said.
He informed that the hot air balloon had taken off from Assolda in South Goa.   
Asked if hot air balloons generally return to the take-off site after an aerial trip, Desai replied in the negative.
“There are 12 sites where hot air balloons can land, but they never come back to the same point from where 
the journey had begun,” he informed.
According to the GTDC website, the two-hour journey starts at 6.30 am and this landing had occurred at about 8 am.
The GTDC also reiterated that the agency operating the hot air balloon service ‘Camping Retreats India’ maintains the highest safety standards and has never compromised on safety of hot air balloon flights, both in India and in Goa.
“During the last two years of this service in Goa, no untoward incident has ever occurred and every flight and landing has been safe and successful. The rides have been a delightful experience for all tourists who have availed of this adventure activity,” said GTDC General Manager Gavin Dias.
“Today’s hot air balloon flight which took off from Assolda also landed safely. The landing site, though new on account of wind change, followed all routine procedures and has evoked unnecessary criticism from different quarters,” he added.