NTSB Identification: DEN89LA145.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 38873.
Accident occurred Wednesday, June 21, 1989 in RIO RANCHO, NM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/22/1990
Aircraft: Raven S77A, registration: N4207U
Injuries: 2 Serious,1 Minor,6 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.

THE BALLOON PILOT TOOK OFF WITH 8 PASSENGERS ON A SIGHTSEEING FLIGHT. LATER INTO THE FLIGHT, THE WINDS STARTED TO INCREASE AND SUITABLE LANDING AREAS BECAME SCARCE. THE PILOT DECIDED TO LAND ON A MESA. SHE SAID SHE GAVE THE PASSENGERS TWO HIGH WIND LANDING BRIEFINGS. DURING THE ENSUING HARD LANDING, ONE PASSENGER SUSTAINED A FRACTURED ARM AND ANOTHER PASSENGER FRACTURED A FOOT. THE BALLOON WAS NOT DAMAGED. ALBUQUERQUE, NM, AT 0750 MDT REPORTED THE WIND FROM 220 DEGREES AT 10 KTS WITH NO GUSTS. THIS WAS 15 NM FROM THE ACCIDENT SITE WHERE THE PLT REPT 15KT WINDS WITH GUSTS TO 20 KTS AND A LOW LEVEL WIND SHEAR.

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

A HARD LANDING DUE TO THE PILOTS FAILURE TO ACCURATELY EVALUATE THE WEATHER CONDITIONS ALONG WITH A DELAY IN MAKING A PRECAUTIONARY LANDING. FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO THE ACCIDENT WERE HIGH WINDS AND WIND SHEAR ALONG WITH ROUGH/UNEVEN TERRAIN.

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