Liberty Flights hot air balloon crashes into homes in Melbourne suburb of Elwood following ‘malfunction’, pilot says

A hot air balloon with 13 passengers on board crashed into homes in Melbourne as it attempted to land on Wednesday morning.

A hot air balloon pilot was forced to make an emergency landing in a densely populated suburb of Melbourne after the plane ‘malfunctioned’.

Thirteen passengers were on board the Liberty Flights balloon when it crashed into the driveway of a property in Elwood at around 7.20am on Wednesday.

They were forced to brace for impact when pilot Nick Braw tried to land on Elwood Beach, but after three attempts he was forced to bring the plane down five miles south of the CBD.

The basket landed in an alley, with photos showing the deflated balloon draped over a block of flats and trees.

Emergency crews were called to the scene in Tiuna Grove.

No injuries were reported.

It is understood the balloon was part of a fleet of six, with the other five all landing safely at Moorabbin.

Mr Braw, who has been flying balloons for 27 years, told 3AW he had no idea what caused the malfunction.

“I don’t know what caused it. But the valve that releases hot air from the top, which we use to maneuver the balloon, was not sealing properly,” he said.

“It was a bit difficult to keep the ball in the air. I was flying low to try and knock it down,” he said