TODAY |

Crashed 'plane' turns out to be Google balloon

An object which fell from the sky off the Canterbury coast, which was initially thought to have been a light aircraft, appears to be a giant balloon.

One of Google's Project Loon internet balloons, being launched in Canterbury.

Police say a local resident raised the alarm around 11.30am when he thought he saw a craft ditching into the sea near Cheviot.

A helicopter was sent to inspect the scene and found the object was a Google balloon, used to connect rural areas to the internet.

Around 30 balloons were launched into the skies around Canterbury a year ago.

The company said the 15 metre wide balloons would hover at altitudes twice as high as commercial planes and beam the internet to the ground at speeds similar to today's 3G networks or faster.