NTSB Identification: BFO88LA066.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 40436.
Accident occurred Sunday, July 10, 1988 in PURCELLVILLE, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/25/1990
Aircraft: BALLOON WORKS AX-8, registration: N7108
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor,4 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 PLT, A WIND GUST OCCURRED DURING LIFT OFF. A PASSENGER SAID THE BALLOON WENT LATERALLY ABOUT 50 TO 75 YDS WHERE IT STRUCK SEVERAL OBSTACLES; A FENCE, A UTILITY LINE, AND A TREE. THE PLT SAID HE CONTINUED THE TAKEOFF AND THE BALLOON EVENTUALLY BECAME AIRBORNE. HOWEVER, ACCORDING TO THE PLT, THE WINDS BEGAN INCREASING SO HE DECIDED TO LAND. THE PLT SAID HE LANDED HARD AND THE FORCE EJECTED HIM AND A PAX FROM THE GONDOLA. AFTER THE PLT WAS EJECTED, THE BALLOON LIFTED OFF AGAIN WITH FOUR PASSENGERS ABOARD. THE PASSENGER SAID THE BALLOON LIFTED TO ABOUT 100 FT AGL WHEN HE HEARD THE PLT YELLING TO PULL THE VALVE LINE, WHICH HE DID. THE PASSENGER SAID THE BALLOON DESCENDED RAPIDLY AND LANDED HARD; THE BALLOON COLLAPSED ON THE GONDOLA.

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

THE PILOT LANDED THE HOT AIR BALLOON AT AN EXCESSIVE DESCENT RATE WHICH RESULTED IN A HARD LANDING. WIND GUST ARE A CONTRIBUTING FACTOR.

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