NTSB Identification: LAX97LA118.
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Accident occurred Saturday, March 01, 1997 in PARKER, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/30/1997
Aircraft: Balloon Works AX-8B, registration: N9033H
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.

After about 15 minutes on a 'Hare and Hound' flight, the pilot noticed a drop in fuel pressure (while flying at a low altitude). He switched fuel tanks, but the balloon had begun to descend. The pilot attempted to stop the descent by using a good tank, but the balloon continued to lose altitude and landed hard on flat terrain, before the descent could be stopped. The pilot and other pilots reported low level wind shear in the area at the time. No mechanical malfunction was reported.

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

the pilot's inadequate in-flight planning, which resulted in an excessive descent and subsequent hard landing, due to a drop in fuel pressure along with shifting winds at low altitude.

Full narrative available

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