Horror moment passenger jet is forced to DODGE hot air balloon in terrifying mid-air manoeuvre | The Sun

Qatar Airways passengers were left stunned when their flightnarrowly dodged a drifting hot air balloon as they were about to land in Brazil.

Passengers and plane spotters recorded the incredible footage showing just how close the plane was to the balloon that had drifted into its path, forcing the pilot to veer the aircraft to the right to avoid a tragic accident.

A dramatic photo taken by passenger Denio Costa, shows the balloon very close to the aircraft's left wing.

The pilot of the Boeing 777, which had taken off from Doha in Qatar on Sunday morning (July 3), was forced to make an "evasive manoeuvre" when the plane approached the extended runway in São Paulo, Brazil.

A local resident, Rafael Freitas managed to capture a photo of the balloon as it came dangerously close to the plane.

“The Boeing 777 came a little misaligned with the runway to avoid the balloon. When it passed, it corrected the alignment with a curve," Freitas said.


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Flight QR779 landed safely "as normal", a Qatar Airways spokesperson told news.com.au and stated that safety margins were maintained at all times.

"The captain filed a report following the flight which is now being investigated by the Brazilian authorities," the spokesperson added.

Images of the hot air balloon show that it was unmanned and was supporting an advertising banner.

Releasing unmanned balloons is a crime in Brazil.

Incidents involving collision between planes and hot air balloons remain rare.

The latest close encounter happened in on New Year’s Eve, 2020, when Avianca Airbus A319 hit a hot air balloon containing tinsel that had drifted near Bogota International Airport in Colombia, according to Aviation24.

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Pilots were able to land the plane safely, and authorities urged people to refrain from using fireworks or launching hot air balloons close to airports.

Meanwhile, ground or mid-air collisions between planes are usually more fatal.

The most deadly mid-air plane collision was in 1996, when Saudia Flight 763 and Kazakhstan Airlines Flight 1907 collided as one aircraft climbed and the other descended 100km from Delhi, India.

349 people were killed. There were no survivors.

The latest deadly mid-air collision between planes was reported in George Inlet in Alaska, when Mountain Air Service DHC-2 and Taquan Air DHC-3, both conducting sightseeing flights, ran into each other as they approached Ketchikan Harbour Seaplane Base.

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Six people were killed and 10 were injured.

While hot air balloons are one of the safest mode of transport, notable accidents have included collisions with TV antennas or high-voltage power lines, as well as fires and wind.

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