NTSB Identification: BFO94LA078.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, April 26, 1994 in LOUISVILLE, KY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/12/1995
Aircraft: CAMERON ET-90, registration: N898ET
Injuries: 3 Minor.

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

THE PILOT STATED THAT HE RECEIVED A WEATHER BRIEFING AND SENT UP THREE WEATHER BALLOONS PRIOR TO LAUNCHING ON THE FLIGHT. IMMEDIATELY AFTER INITIATING FLIGHT, THE PILOT NOTICED DARKENING SKIES AND DECIDED TO LAND THE BALLOON SHORT OF THE DESTINATION. THE PILOT CHOSE A LANDING AREA IN CLOSE PROXIMITY TO POWERLINES AND AN INTERSTATE HIGHWAY. HE STATED THAT HE ESTABLISHED A GLIDE PATH SO THAT HE WOULD CLEAR THE TOPS OF THE POWERLINES BY 20 FEET. THE PILOT FURTHER STATED THAT THE BALLOON ENCOUNTERED A DOWNDRAFT AND STRUCK THE POWERLINES.

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

THE PILOT-IN-COMMAND'S FAILURE TO MAINTAIN CLEARANCE FROM WIRES DURING THE LANDING APPROACH. A FACTOR RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT IS A DOWNDRAFT THAT EXCEEDED THE BALLOON'S AVAILABLE CLIMB CAPABILITY.

Full narrative available

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