This is the hair-raising moment a hot air balloon was blown off course and narrowly missed crashing into a 350-year-old WINDMILL.
The hapless pilot was forced to take evasive action as he careered towards the iconic Chesterton Windmill in Warwickshire on Sunday evening.
Photographer Chris Day, 48, captured the moment the multi-coloured balloon missed the Grade One Listed windmill – which has stood since 1632 – by a matter of feet.
Chris, from Warwick, said: “I was taking some shots because the sunset was really dramatic and the windmill is an imposing landmark on the top of the hill.
“I could see the balloon in the distance and was waiting for it to fly over the windmill when it suddenly lost altitude and plummeted to the ground.
“It seemed to almost bounce along the ground and came within a few feet of hitting the windmill.
“The speed it was going would have certainly damaged the windmill but the pilot managed to put a burst of flame into the balloon at the last minute and narrowly miss it.
“He didn’t seem too bothered as he passed overhead he even doffed his cap and said ‘that was a little close, good evening’ before disappearing into the distance.”
The 71ft (22m) high windmill was built from limestone and sandstone between 1623 and 1633 by mathematician and astrologer Sir Edward Peyto and is one of the most famous landmarks in Warwickshire.
It is a favourite location for photographers, including EastEnders actor Adam Woodyatt who lives in nearby Southam and takes landscape pictures in his spare time.
In 2006 one of the sails fell off the windmill during an open day, injuring one visitor. Initially, following the incident, the area was roped off to prevent visitors approaching the windmill.
The sails themselves were then removed for strengthening. They were finally replaced in late 2007.