NTSB Identification: NYC98LA199.
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Accident occurred Saturday, August 15, 1998 in BROOKHAVEN, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/03/2000
Aircraft: Balloon Works FIREFLY AX-9, registration: N3141C
Injuries: 1 Serious,6 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 hot air balloon was on a local flight with a pilot and six passengers. The passengers were instructed on how to flex their knees at landing. The pilot reported that prior to landing, he instructed a passenger to either hang onto the balloon structure or him. The passenger remembered the pilot saying it would be a hard landing and to hang onto him, which she did. Upon touchdown, she lost her grip, and sat or fell to the bottom of the basket. As she was going down, her right foot was pressed against a fuel tank and did not move. She fractured some bones in her right ankle. The pilot reported that he flexed his knees at touchdown as was his standard practice, and remained standing along with the other five passengers. The pilot described the landing as soft, and another balloon pilot who watched the landing said it did not appear to be hard. The injured passenger and another passenger onboard the balloon described the landing as hard, with a bounce. The winds were described as 5 to 6 knots.

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

The failure of the passenger to comply with the pilot briefing, and properly brace herself for landing.

Full narrative available

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