On 3 July, a Qatar Airways Boeing 777 (registered A7-BEV) was on final approach towards Sao Paulo Airport, Brazil, originating from Doha, Qatar. A balloon crossing the flight path forced the pilots to maneuver around the balloon before continuing their approach.
A Qatar Airways spokesperson told news.com.au the flight landed “as normal” and safety margins were maintained at all times.
“Qatar Airways is aware of an event concerning one of its aircraft, involving an unmanned balloon, before landing at Sao Paulo on Sunday, July 3,” the spokesperson said.
“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.”
It is understood that while such hot air balloons are illegal, they are common around this time of year in Brazil due to Festas Juninas – June festivals.
Qatar Airways Boeing 777-300 (A7-BEV, built 2018) was forced to make an evasive maneuver on final approach to Sao Paulo-Guarulhos Intl (SBGR), Brazil, when an unmanned hot air-balloon drifted into the approach path. Flight #QR779 from Doha landed safely. https://t.co/z0waOu7fuQ pic.twitter.com/8nOtN163mV
— JACDEC (@JacdecNew) July 3, 2022
It’s not the first encounter for an aircraft with a balloon as on 1 January 2021, an Avianca Airbus A319 hit a pyrotechnic balloon on landing at Bogota Airport: