NTSB Identification: LAX96LA089.
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Accident occurred Saturday, December 30, 1995 in LUCERNE VALLEY, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/31/1996
Aircraft: Aerostar RX-8, registration: N70107
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.

The pilot reported that the first flight of the morning was completed successfully, and new passengers were boarded for the accident flight. As the balloon achieved 3,000 feet agl during the flight, the ground crew radioed the pilot that the surface winds were rapidly increasing and were now at 20 knots. The pilot initiated a high wind landing in a field by actuating the top vent at 18 feet agl. The balloon touched down firmly and was dragged by the winds about 1,500 feet along the ground until it was stopped by a chain link fence and metal shed.

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

the balloon's encounter with unexpected high wind conditions, and the pilot's inability to stop the balloon prior to contacting ground obstructions.

Full narrative available

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