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Pictured: Moment passenger jet has to dodge drifting balloon in mid-air to avoid tragic accident

Pictured: Moment passenger jet has to dodge drifting balloon in mid-air to avoid tragic accident

  • A plane had to swerve out of the way of a balloon as it prepared to land in Brazil 
  • The pilot had to make an ‘evasive manoeuvre’ to avoid the unmanned balloon
  • The Qatar Airlines Boeing jet was able to correct its flight path and land safely

Passengers on a Qatar Airlines flight to Brazil were shocked when the plane had to swerve to dodge a balloon that had drifted into its flight path.

The Boeing 777-300, which can carry more than 300 passengers, had to avoid the unmanned balloon on its final approach into São Paulo.

The plane, which had taken off from Doha and was preparing to touch down in Guarulhos Airport on July 3, had to make an ‘evasive manoeuvre’ but landed safely.

Passengers and plane spotters were able to record the incident, showing just how close the plane was to hitting the balloon. 

A local resident, Rafael Freitas managed to capture a photo of the balloon as it came dangerously close to the plane.

‘The Boeing 777 came a little misaligned with the runway to avoid the balloon. When it passed, it corrected the alignment with a curve,’ Freitas told local media.

A picture captured the moment a Boeing jet was forced to avoid a balloon on its final approach to São Paulo, Brazil

The balloon, which appeared to be carrying an advertisement below it, just missed the plane's left wing

The balloon, which appeared to be carrying an advertisement below it, just missed the plane’s left wing

 Qatar Airlines told Doha News that it ‘is aware of an event concerning one of its aircraft involving an unmanned balloon before landing in São Paulo on Sunday 3 July.’

They added: ‘The flight landed as normal and safety margins were maintained at all times. The captain filed a report following the flight which is now being investigated by the Brazilian authorities.’

Images of the balloon show that it was unmanned and was supporting an advertising banner.

A source reportedly told Doha News that the balloon was being used as part of the local Festas Juninas festival – a month of traditional festivities that take place at the beginning of the Brazilian winter in June.

A local resident managed to take a photo of the balloon before it drifted into the aircraft's flight path

A local resident managed to take a photo of the balloon before it drifted into the aircraft’s flight path

It would not have been the first time a large balloon would have been hit by a plane.

On New Year’s Eve in 2020, an Avianca Airbus A319 hit a hot air balloon containing tinsel that had drifted near Bogota International Airport in Colombia, according to Aviation24.

Pilots were able to land the plane safely, and authorities urged people to refrain from using fireworks or launching hot air balloons close to airports.

Mid-air collisions with planes are very infrequent but are very deadly when they occur. 

The worst incident of a mid-air plane collision was in 1996, when Saudia Flight 763 and Kazakhstan Airlines Flight 1907 collided over India.

All 349 people onboard both planes were killed.

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk