Maine-owned hot air balloon crashes into power lines in Mass.
LEWISTON (WGME) -- A Dixfield man is banned from flying in a popular festival, after his hot air balloon crashed in Massachusetts over the weekend.
The balloon was trying to land in a residential area of Clinton, Mass. on Saturday night, when disaster struck.
"We saw the balloon flying really low overhead. It was abnormally low, so we went around the house and that's when we saw the basket touch the lines, the electrical lines and catch on fire," said witness Ruchika Misra.
Witnesses said explosions sent sparks flying. At least two people on board suffered burns.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the balloon is registered to Derald E. Young of Dixfield.
There was no answer at his home on Monday, but according to an internet search, he and his wife run Damn Yankee Balloons.
Young's biography on the website says he's flown over 3,000 hours in 10 U.S. states and 6 Canadian provinces.
According to the FAA, Young doesn't have any accidents on his record.
Still, the crash is bringing consequences.
"We have somebody that's involved in an accident and it's still under investigation and there were some things that we saw ourselves on TV that had happened that we kind of thought were inappropriate," said John Reeder, one of the founders of the Great Falls Balloon Festival in Lewiston-Auburn. "So, Derald Young won't be flying at the Great Falls Balloon Festival."
Reeder said the event has only experienced one incident in 22 years, and organizers intend to keep it that way.
"Slmost all accidents, and there's very few exceptions, are pilot error," said Reeder. "So, the systems are checked every year when we have pilots come to our festival. We make sure everything they have, all of their licenses, all of their systems, their certificates, are up to date and accurate so we can rule out any kind of incident like what happened."
Young is scheduled to participate at the New Jersey Festival of Ballooning at the end of July, and the Crown of Maine Balloon Fest in August.
The FAA is investigating the crash.