NTSB Identification: FTW96LA292.
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Accident occurred Friday, July 05, 1996 in GUNNISON, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/11/1996
Aircraft: Raven S55A, registration: N4273Y
Injuries: 1 Serious,2 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 balloon pilot said that when he took off, the wind was calm. After about 15 minutes of flying at 1,000 feet agl, he noticed other balloons at lower altitudes traveling at higher ground speeds. The pilot descended to 200 to 300 feet agl and estimated the wind at that altitude to be in excess of 30 knots. After flying at this altitude for about 10 minutes, the pilot decided to land in an open field. During the high wind landing, one of the two passengers sustained a serious injury. The pilot said that about 15 minutes after the landing, the winds were again calm.

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

The pilot's improper planning/decision. The weather condition (sudden high wind) was a related factor.

Full narrative available

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