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Balloon landing routine procedure, owners say


Public safety — A Vista Balloon Adventures craft lands in a parking lot adjacent to a popular coffee spot in Newberg Saturday morning

At approximately 8 a.m. Saturday, a hot air balloon landed in the parking lot of the Coffee Barn Co., a small coffee drive-thru on the corner of Highway 219 and North Everest Road.

Debora Cole, a Newberg resident and eyewitness to the event, said the balloon landing in front of the coffee stand was “dramatic.”by: SUBMITTED - A visitor from above - Debora Cole witnessed the balloon landing and characterized it as ‘dramatic' and that it appeared unplanned.

“There was a lot of yelling, and they told people to get out, and then it collapsed,” Cole said. “I (have) lived here 13 years, and I have never seen this happen before. They said the wind was giving them trouble.”

Cole said the landing did not look planned. And Skylar Rose, who was working at the Coffee Barn Co. when the incident occurred, agreed with that assessment.

“It circled around our building. We looked outside and the balloon almost hit the power line, but they fired it up and it went over the lines,” Rose said.

Following the dramatic landing, the balloon was packed up and carted away. No injuries were reported. The balloon belonged to local company Vista Balloon Adventures.

Vista Balloon Adventures co-owner Catherine Driver confirmed the balloon belonged to her company and that it landed near the coffee shop this weekend.

However, she said there was nothing peculiar or dramatic about the landing.

“We land in all kinds of places,” Driver said, “sometimes in church parking lots, in big parking lots. Sometimes it’s just about where the wind takes you that day.”

Driver said nobody was hurt in the landing. She also said reports of the incident being an emergency landing were overblown.

“Nothing dramatic happened,” Driver said. “Which is good; we don’t like to have dramatic stories about balloon landings.”