NTSB Identification: ATL89FA158.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 39686.
Accident occurred Sunday, June 11, 1989 in GARNER, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/15/1992
Aircraft: BALLOON WORKS FIREFLY 8B, registration: N37141
Injuries: 3 Fatal.

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 PLT OF A BALLOON, N37141, TOOK OFF FROM A SOCCER FLD WITH 2 PSGRS. AFTER TAKEOFF, THE BALLOON REMAINED AT LOW ALT. ANOTHER PLT, WHO TOOK OFF FROM THE SAME FLD ABT 10 MIN LATER, SAID THE WIND WAS INITIALLY FROM THE NE. AT 500 FT, THE REPORTED WIND WAS FROM THE NW, AND AT 1000 TO 2000 FT, IT SHIFTED BACK TO THE EAST. THE BALLOON WAS SEEN CROSSING A HIGHWAY ON A SW HEADING ABOUT 1 MI FM A TV TOWER THAT WAS 2000 FT TALL. SUBSEQUENTLY, IT COLLIDED WITH SUPPORTING CABLES FROM THE TOWER. ONE WITNESS RPRTD THE BURNER WAS IN OPN JUST BEFORE IMPACT. THE BALLOON'S ENVELOPE THEN COLLAPSED AND STREAMERED, AND THE BALLOON DESCENDED RAPIDLY TO THE GND. AN EXAM OF THE ENVELOPE SHOWED THAT IT HAD BEEN TORN BY THE TOWER SUPPORT CABLES.

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

IMPROPER PLANNING/DECISION BY THE PILOT, AND HIS DELAY IN INITIATING A CLIMB AS THE BALLOON CONVERGED ON THE TV TOWER.

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