An overenthusiastic hot air balloon pilot, Alexandru Barshentsev thought it would be a good idea to combine his love of cars with his love of flying. But all this crazy stunt did was create a turbulent situation with the Russian authorities
The footage shows a lime-green Soviet-era Oka compact vehicle, strapped to a hot air balloon where the passenger basket would traditionally be, being lifted into the air with the driver inside.
Alexandru Barshentsev fitted a gas burner to the roof of the little motor and attached it underneath a large hot air balloon. To make it light enough to take off, he removed everything he could including the seats, windows and everything under the bonnet. Travelling in the shell of the fluorescent green Oka, Barshentsev ascended up to a height of 98 feet into the city sky. But while some onlookers were impressed by the stunt, Russian authorities looked upon it with less of an open mind.
On Thursday, Novosibirsk transport prosecutors announced that they had found the flying vehicle’s “pilot” in administrative violation of airspace use and aircraft handling laws. He was fined 6,700 rubles (£87 or $116), according to the transport prosecutor’s office. They are now threatening to take away the man’s hot air ballooning licence, too. Prosecutors requested that a Novosibirsk court ban the balloon owner from operating it until he acquired a medical note, a pilot’s license, and aircraft documentation.
They believed the car could have fallen down at any moment.“Such a flight within the city borders threatened the life of not only the owner of the balloon, but also other aircraft.”
Mr Barshentsev pointed out that the car remained attached to the ground by rope throughout its flight.Had anything gone wrong, it would have simply fallen back onto the empty field below.
He said the most dangerous part had been landing as even a conventional hot air balloon basket could cause injuries when touching back down on the ground.
Mr Barshentsev said: “For me it was mostly of interest as a piece of research.”
He said he was now considering developing a balloon basket with a suspension system, like a car, to improve safety on landing.
See more photos below:
Watch video clip below: