NTSB Identification: LAX97LA159.
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Accident occurred Sunday, April 13, 1997 in SAN DIEGO, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/04/1998
Aircraft: Head Balloons, Inc. AX8-88, registration: N380P
Injuries: 3 Serious.

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 of the hot air balloon intentionally induced a high sink rate to avoid power lines with insufficient altitude remaining to return to a nominal sink rate prior to impact with the ground. All occupants were ejected from the basket, and the balloon then drifted away until it was brought to rest by contact with some nearby power lines.

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

The pilot's decision to increase sink rate to avoid flying into an obstacle with insufficient altitude remaining to reduce the sink rate prior to impact with the ground.

Full narrative available

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