Moment hot air balloon crashes into pub roof as pilot make an emergency landing in Nottinghamshire town centre

  • Pilot Andrew Davidson forced to bring hot air balloon down due to a lack of fuel 
  • He landed next to Idlewells Shopping Centre in Sutton-in-Ashfield on Saturday
  • Balloon hit the roof of The Nags Head pub and one person was injured in crash 

This is the moment a hot air balloon crashed into the roof of a packed pub in Nottinghamshire after it was forced to land when fuel ran low.

One person suffered minor injuries when the balloon landed next to the Idlewells Shopping Centre and hit the roof of The Nags Head pub in Sutton-in-Ashfield.

Pilot Andrew Davidson was forced to perform the unexpected landing in the shopping centre’s service yard, opposite Lloyds Bank on Forest Street.

Mr Davidson, who has been a hot air balloon navigator for 35 years, described the event as ‘once in a lifetime’ and extremely rare.    

A clip filmed by an onlooker shows the balloon as it makes its descent in the middle of the Nottinghamshire town. As it lands, it leans heavily against two buildings.

A hot air balloon crashed into the roof of a pub in Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire

Shortly afterwards, a police vehicle is filmed heading towards the unusual scene. 

The hot air balloon stays on the ground for a moment, before taking to the skies again as the sun set in the distance on Saturday evening.  

The balloon took off from Bramcote Park and planned to fly for an hour before landing in open countryside – but a lack of fuel triggered an unexpected stop.   

Mr Davidson, 69, said: ‘That is a once in a lifetime for me – it is a most unusual event.

‘It was a forced landing; in other words, you don’t choose to land in that particular location.

‘Briefly I was already looking for fields to land in and found nothing suitable and so I found myself flying over Sutton-in-Ashfield with insufficient fuel to clear the built-up area.

‘The only way to stop the balloon was to hit the far wall of the shopping centre, so we hit the far wall at about five miles per hour.

‘We have to avoid livestock; we have to avoid power lines and we have to avoid standing crop if possible.

‘Almost always you can find a field that you can land in, I was just unable to do so on that occasion.’ 


The balloon was forced to make an unexpected landing after running low on fuel

 In a clip, the hot air balloon stays on the ground for a moment, before taking to the skies again as the sun set in the distance on Saturday evening

Officers from British Transport Police (BTP) spotted the balloon coming down over the Nottinghamshire town and rushed to the scene.

Once there, they provided first aid to those involved in the crash, before helping to get the balloon back under control.

One person suffered minor injuries in the incident.

Roof tiles were knocked off the pub where regulars were already warming up for the Euro 2020 final on Sunday, and one of four people on board had a bloody nose. 

Colin Dunstan, who runs the Jacket Potatoes and Outside Catering van outside The Nag Head, said: ‘There’s been a couple of people who asked me about it today but it’s not like everyone is talking about it.

‘It’s definitely something unordinary and the type of thing that doesn’t happen every day. It could have really damaged the pub.’

Nathan Marchewka, 73, said: ‘I’m amazed that more people are not talking about it.

‘We watched the football on Sunday night just like everybody else but I think that’s dwindled the incident in some people’s eyes.

‘My brother showed me it on his Facebook and I couldn’t believe it. I really thought it would be the talk of the town today.’

Margaret Wilkes said her daughter saw the hot-air balloon descend on the town from a nearby estate.

The hot air balloon crash landed next to the Nags Head pub in Sutton-in-Ashfield

The incident took place on Saturday night, ahead of the Euro 2020 final on Sunday

Ms Wilkes, 43, said: ‘My daughter saw it happened and rang me straight away because I work nearby. I couldn’t leave my shop but it must have been odd to witness. 

‘Thankfully, it doesn’t seem to have caused too much damage and the pub is back open.’ 

BTP Nottinghamshire said: ‘Now this isn’t something that happens very often.

‘Whilst on patrol officers have witnessed a hot air balloon crashing in Sutton-in-Ashfield town centre.

‘Officers have assisted with first aid, before helping get the balloon under control. Unexpected.’

The crash will be reported to the Air Accidents Investigation Branch of the British Balloon and Airship Club.    

‘This landing is very, very unusual – it’s the first time I’ve ever done that, and I’ve flown hot air balloons for over 30 years’ Mr Davidson, chairman of the Nottingham and Derby Hot Air Balloon Club, said.

‘I’ve never had one like that before, and I don’t want one like that again.

‘It was very interesting for the people of Sutton-in-Ashfield – I’ve seen some nice videos.’ 

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