If your high altitude balloon has ever landed on a house then spare a thought for the Project Loon recovery team who had to attend an Los Angeles home where one of their huge balloons had landed.
Big balloon crash-lands in Chino Hills neighborhood
CHINO HILLS >> An over-sized balloon believed to be developed by Google crash-landed into a palm tree early Saturday morning, leaving neighbors startled by the contraption.
It didn’t take residents long to figure out what the white polyurethane material was that was stuck between the lawns of two homes in the 1600 block of Rancho Hills Drive.
Sheriff’s deputies came out to the site because the company that owned the balloon reported it had crash-landed, said resident Gina Hernandez.
Hernandez said she was told the device is called Project Loon and is being used to provide Internet access to rural and remote areas.
According to Google.com/Loon, the purpose is to “use a global network of high-altitude balloons to connect people in rural and remote areas who have no Internet access at all.”
By noon, crews had come to retrieve the device, but Hernandez said that all throughout the morning people had stopped to snap photos of the deflated balloon.
“Oh, people were taking pictures, and taking pictures of themselves in front of them. It was quite the spectacle,” she said.
It was shortly before 6 a.m. when Hernandez heard what sounded like a cement truck driving past the house.
“We didn’t know what it was, but it wasn’t a loud boom,” she said.
Then her husband went out to get the newspaper at 6:30 a.m.
“He came back in and I was like ‘where’s the paper?’” Hernandez said. “Then he told me there was a big balloon out in the front lawn.”
The balloon had crash-landed on a neighbor’s palm tree and parts of it had spilled into her driveway, she said.
Initially, Hernandez said she wasn’t sure what to make of the contraption and if it was safe to be near it.
“It was kind of creepy looking,” she said.
Hernandez said she was grateful the device landed on the palm tree.
“It just landed on shrubbery. Nothing was really damaged,” she said. “The trees diverted it from crashing into the homes.”