NTSB Identification: CHI97LA305.
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Accident occurred Sunday, August 10, 1997 in COLUMBIA, MO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/21/1998
Aircraft: Balloon Works FIREFLY 7B-15, registration: N90755
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, there were three weather briefings prior to the flight. The last briefing indicated that the approaching cold front had dissipated, and that calm winds were expected to remain. The pilot briefed his passenger on hard landing techniques prior to launching with approximately 10-15 other balloons. Nearly 30 minutes into the flight, the wind shifted 180 degrees and accelerated. The pilot elected to descent for a landing in a field. During the landing sequence, one corner of the basket contacted the ground, causing the basket to pirouette onto one side. At this time, the passenger's foot became caught between the propane tank and the basket causing an ankle fracture.

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

the pilot's improper planning/decision. The unfavorable wind was a related factor.

Full narrative available

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