NTSB Identification: FTW97LA011.
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Accident occurred Saturday, October 05, 1996 in ALBUQUERQUE, NM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/23/1997
Aircraft: Avian Balloon SKYHAWK, registration: N47AV
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 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.

According to the pilot, the balloon was on a 'dawn patrol' demonstration. The crew members were holding to the gondola just prior to breaking ground. As the balloon became airborne, a crew member's hand became caught on one of the rope handles normally used by passengers. She was lifted up to about 20 feet AGL. Someone on the ground said, 'jump,' and she released the handle. Before impacting the ground, she contacted the side of another balloon that was being inflated. The pilot stated that he was not aware that the crew member was in distress.

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

The ground crew member's failure keep clear from the gondola during take off. A factor was the pilot's failure to insure crew coordination during take off.

Full narrative available

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