An Illinois woman's bucket-list item turned out to be a lot more than she apparently bargained for on Wednesday morning.

The unnamed woman, in her 80s, had always wanted to have a ride in a hot air balloon, and had made arrangements for a morning flight, along with 5 other passengers.

The problem began about an hour after take-off, when she began to feel lightheaded.

WGN-TV News:

“She was an elderly lady, probably in her eighties. A bucket list she wanted to fly. And she had just passed out,” said Bob Perkins, who is chief of the ground crew that tracks the balloon when it flies.

He was contacted by pilot Chad Morin.

“We have a two-way radio,” said Morin. “I radioed the crew, and we have a certain kind of language not to alarm anyone. We called it a precautionary landing.”

Morin set the balloon down in the neighborhood and emergency responders were on the scene in seconds.

“The pilot did a fantastic job landing it,” said Greg Pollnow of the Huntley Fire Protection District. “He basically threaded the needle, right between two houses on a residential street.”

The elderly passenger was checked out at the scene and refused transportation to a hospital.


As someone with a great fear of heights, I admire her for going through with the ride to begin with. I may not have passed out, but I probably would have caused a clean-up problem for the balloon's other passengers and crew.

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