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FLYING PIG crash-lands in Utah: Rider survives, bacon saved

Midair prang involved airborne cowboy

By Lewis Page, 9 Jul 2015

Heartwarmingly, news has reached us here on the Register flying-cars-and-related-matters desk that a large flying pig has crashlanded in Utah. The airborne porker's rider suffered only minor injuries.

The incident took place recently in the town of Provo, Utah, where locals were celebrating the anniversary of the Land of the Free* becoming independent of Britain.

This celebration in Utah traditionally involves the flying of large numbers of hot air balloons in the "America's Freedom Festival Balloon Fest". One of these balloons, sponsored by a local bank, was shaped as a vast flying pig (in representation of a piggy bank named "Seymour", the bank's mascot).

Unfortunately, the basket of a cowboy-themed balloon ploughed into the top of the flying pig not long after takeoff, ripping the fabric. Losing its hot air rapidly, the pig plummeted Earthwards. However its pilot, named as Erwin Oertli, was able to maintain some buoyancy by turning his burners on to full power and bringing the stricken porker down relatively slowly.

"What saved my bacon, was that the head of the pig held a lot of hot air and helped the balloon to descend at a safer rate," Oertli said in a statement quoted by the AP.

The plunging piggy struck the ground in a building site, with Oertli suffering minor injuries. He was the only person riding the pig, and was treated by paramedics at the scene.

We're sorry we were a bit slow getting on this story, but we thought it was critical to inform our readers of such a major event even though we're a few days late. ®

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