NTSB Identification: FTW00LA004.
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Accident occurred Monday, October 04, 1999 in MCALESTER, OK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/22/2000
Aircraft: Lindstrand LBL-105G, registration: GBWOK
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor.
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 balloon was participating in a long distance race and had been airborne for approximately 31.5 hours. The pilot had been aware of thunderstorms in the balloon's flight path for about 6.5 hours and had been attempting to track away from the storms, but was unable to do so. According to the pilot, the balloon was in level flight at 7,000 feet, above a cloud layer, when he initiated a precautionary landing to avoid an encounter with the thunderstorms. The balloon broke out at 1,280 feet agl in dark night light conditions. The balloon landed hard and then became airborne again reaching a height of 80 feet. During the second ground contact, the pilot was ejected from the basket, and subsequently, the basket 'dragged' over the pilot and then came to a stop. The pilot reported that the winds were from 360 degrees at 20 knots gusting to 22 knots. The pilot stated that 'improved met[eorological] information would have allowed a night landing to be made at 3 knots earlier rather than at 20 knots.'
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's continued flight into known adverse weather, which resulted in a hard landing. Factors were the thunderstorms, dark night light conditions, and the high winds. Full narrative available
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