NTSB Identification: ATL99LA047.
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Accident occurred Saturday, February 06, 1999 in BEECH ISLAND, SC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/21/2001
Aircraft: Balloon Works AX-8, registration: N32877
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

After landing, the pilot turned off the pilot light valves on the tanks but not on the burners. The pilot then started deflating the balloon and laid the basket over on its side. While exiting the basket, the pilot bumped the main valve. The flames from the burner ignited the balloon envelope, and started a ground fire. The Balloon Works Firefly Series Flight Manual states that, 'Just prior to touchdown: (1) Make sure that the Trigger Valve (and/or Fire 2 Valve if in use) is firmly closed, (2) Close the Pilot Light Safety Shut Off. Action (2) is a precaution against possibility that the pilot lights or accidental burning might damage the envelope or ignite anything at the landing site.'

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The pilot's failure to follow the balloon checklist that resulted in a ground fire that destroyed the balloon envelope.

Full narrative available

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