A veteran hot-air balloonist died after he became entangled underneath his basket and fell from a great height.
Brain Boland, 72, of Post Mills, Vt., landed in a field and was pronounced dead at the scene on Thursday, according to the Vermont State Police.
During a flight, police said, the balloon began to descend, briefly touching down, with one of four passengers falling out.
“During this sequence, the pilot became entangled in gear affixed to the balloon as it re-ascended and ended up entrapped underneath the basket, where he eventually fell,” the police said.
The balloon traveled another 1.5 miles before getting caught in a tree. The other three passengers we able to climb down safely.
The balloon began its deadly descent as Boland switched fuel tanks, according to a report.
The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the accident.
“I still can’t believe it,” one neighbor told the Valley News. “Brian was an integral part of our neighborhood.”