NTSB Identification: LAX98LA005.
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Accident occurred Friday, October 10, 1997 in RANCHO BERNARDO, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/10/1998
Aircraft: Balloon Works FIREFLY 11, registration: N2585Z
Injuries: 1 Serious,7 Minor,3 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 pilot and 10 passengers departed for a scenic late afternoon flight. The takeoff occurred in wind conditions near the FAA demonstrated 7 knot maximum speed (for landing), and at a time when local airports reported 10 knot surface winds. For several minutes during the flight the pilot flew in clouds. The passengers reported hearing the sound of an airplane and became concerned. During the flight the wind speed increased. The pilot landed hard in over 12 knots of wind. The basket slid 150 to 180 feet, rotated 90 degrees, and tumbled end over end ejecting passengers.

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

The pilot's intentional flight in high wind conditions and his improper in-flight planning.

Full narrative available

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