Hot air balloon festival leads to plane running out of fuel, crashing

Sept. 21, 2013 at 10:16 PM

MIDDLETOWN SPRINGS, Vt., Sept. 21 (UPI) -- A hot air balloon festival at one airport forced a small plane to divert to another airport, only to run out of gas and crash on a highway, Vermont police said.

Vermont State Police said the two California men aboard the single-engine Cessna took off from a grass airstrip near Burlington, Vt., bound for Glen Falls, N.Y., only to encounter the hot air balloons at the Glen Falls airport. They tried to reach the Rutland, Vt., airport but ran out of fuel and went down on Vermont 140 in Middletown Springs, the Burlington Free Press reported.

Pilot Richard Piccirilli, 65, of Sun City, Calif., suffered small cuts and possibly a broken wrist, while passenger David Querry, 53, of Hemet, Calif., suffered a larger cut on his nose, the newspaper said.

The aircraft sustained damage to its front nose section and landing gear.

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