NTSB Identification: LAX90LA109.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 42439.
Accident occurred Saturday, March 03, 1990 in PHOENIX, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/02/1992
Aircraft: CAMERON O-105, registration: N364CB
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious,2 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.

AFTER 30 MIN OF FLT, THE PLT LNDD THE BALLOON IN A DESERT AREA. THE CHASE CREW WAS UNABLE TO REACH THE AREA, SO THE PLT ELECTED TO FLY THE BALLOON & PSGRS TO AN ACCESSIBLE AREA. MOMENTS AFTER LIFT-OFF, A FUEL LINE CONNECTION FAILED & A FIRE ERUPTED. THE PILOT TOLD THE PSGRS TO JUMP; 1 PSGR JUMPED (OR FELL) FROM A RELATIVELY HIGH ALTITUDE & WAS FATALLY INJURED. AN EXAM OF THE BALLOON REMAINS REVEALED THE FUEL SYS WAS MODIFIED TO A CONFIGURATION THAT WAS NOT APPROVED BY EITHER THE FAA OR THE MANUFACTURER. ONLY TWO FUEL TANKS WERE ORIGINALLY APPROVED FOR THIS BALLOON; FOUR FUEL TANKS WERE INSTALLED & TWO OTHERS WERE LOOSE IN THE BASKET. THE FUEL MANIFOLDS FOR THE INSTALLED TANKS WERE OF AN UNKNOWN DESIGN & ORIGIN WITH HOSES & FITTINGS THAT DID NOT MEET FACTORY SPECIFICATIONS.

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

IMPROPER MODIFICATION OF THE BALLOON'S FUEL/HEATER SYSTEM BY THE OWNER/OPERATOR AND FAILURE OF THE FUEL LINE CONNECTION, WHICH RESULTED IN A FUEL SYSTEM LEAK AND GONDOLA (BASKET) FIRE.

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