From time to time, quite spectacular videos turn up from hot air balloons landing in unusual or even quite tight spots, such as a soccer field in Vlijmen, a road in Nijkerk, or even a small playground in Utrecht.

While I appreciate the fact that only the height can be controlled and not much else, I can't help but wonder if it's safe to do so, and if it's allowed.

I've tried searching, but all that turned up was information on landing on a farmer's field. That is allowed and there are rules for handling that.

Are there any regulations concerning landing in built-up areas? Or can a balloon land anywhere?

I'm mainly interested in the Dutch law and regulations, but wouldn't mind learning about those in other countries. I'm also curious to learn what the considerations are when choosing a landing spot.

  • $\begingroup$ For the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, you get told not to land on the airport/Air Force base to the south. The security forces really don't like it. $\endgroup$ – Jon Custer Jul 27 at 22:32
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    $\begingroup$ The thing with unpowered aircraft (balloons, gliders, but also airplanes with a power emergency) is that the laws of physics don't care much about the laws of men. If you're going down, you're going down, and you sort out whether you were allowed to go down where you went down after you survived the landing. The third video is titled "emergency landing" if my one and a half words of Dutch aren't failing me, so it clearly was either land in the playground and live or crash into the buildings and (potentially) die. $\endgroup$ – Jörg W Mittag Jul 28 at 13:04

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