NTSB Identification: FTW89FA081.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 39380.
Accident occurred Sunday, April 16, 1989 in TROY, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/28/1991
Aircraft: Head Balloons, Inc. AX8-88, registration: N4510H
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

THE PLTS TOOK OFF ON A CHECK FLT IN A 10 TO 12 MPH WIND WITH GUSTS TO 15 MPH. A WX FORECAST INDICATED THERE WOULD BE HIGHER WINDS AS THE MORNING PROGRESSED. DURING AN APCH TO LAND, THE PLT-IN-COMMAND (PIC) WAS UNABLE TO ESTABLISH A NORMAL APCH ANGLE. HE OVER VENTED, THEN OVER BURNED TO COMPENSATE. SUBSEQUENTLY, THE GONDOLA COLLIDED WITH A TREE AND THE PIC WAS EJECTED. BOTH OF THE PILOT LIGHTS FOR THE BURNER WENT OUT. THE CHECK PILOT REMAINED IN THE GONDOLA AS IT ROSE TO 300 FEET. SUBSEQUENTLY THE BALLOON TOUCHED DOWN IN A THERMAL DESCENT OF 1200 TO 1400 FT/MIN. THE PIC RECEIVED MINOR INJURIES & THE CHECK PLT RECEIVED SERIOUS INJURIES.

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

IMPROPER PLANNING/DECISION BY THE PILOT, AND INADEQUATE SUPERVISION BY THE CHECK PILOT, WHICH RESULTED IN THEIR FAILURE TO MAINTAIN CLEARANCE FROM THE TREE DURING THE LANDING. FACTORS RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WERE: THE HIGH WIND & TREE(S).

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