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East County News Service
Photo: CAL FIRE/San Diego County Fire Authority
March 28, 2019 (Warner Springs) — Julian Richard Nott, 74, died at a local hospital Tuesday of injuries sustained from a freak accident in an experimental hot air balloon Sunday near Warner Springs.
Nott set 79 world ballooning records, according to his obituary. Originally from Britain, Nott was living in Santa Barbara at the time of his death.

He was testing high-altitude technology in his experimental craft when he made a soft landing near Chihuahua Valley Road and State Route 79 on Sunday around 12:45 p.m.  Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the scene after getting reports of a possible crash.  But after the balloon riders told deputies they were not injured and did not need help, deputies left, according to Lt. Mike Rand, Patch.com reports.

While Nott and his passenger were preparing the balloon’s cabin for retrieval, the balloon’s passenger compartment became detached and plummeted approximately 150 feet down a slope.  
Deputies returned to the scene around 3:30 p.m. after a caller reported that two balloon occupants had suffered back injuries and one was going in and out of consciousness.  A Sheriff’s helicopter was used to free Nott and his passenger, 64, who were transported to Palomar Hospital in Escondido via a second helicopter.
No update on the condition of the passenger has been provided.

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