NTSB Identification: LAX86LA159.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 30562.
Accident occurred Monday, March 31, 1986 in PHEONIX, AZ
Aircraft: BALLOON WORKS FIREFLY 8-24, registration: N3694C
Injuries: 1 Serious,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 COLLIDED WITH THE TERRAIN DURING A SIGHT SEEING TOUR. THE PLT NOTICED THE DUST SIGNATURE OF GROUND TURBULENT WX PHENOMENA KNOWN AS ROTORS OR DUST DEVILS ARPX 3 MILES AHEAD. HE ELECTED TO MAKE AN IMMEDIATE PRECAUTIONARY LANDING AND DESCENDED TO AN ALT OF 75 FT AGL. THE BALLOON WAS DRIFTING AT 3 TO 5 KTS OVER AN ORCHARD ON FINAL APCH TO AN OPEN FLD WHEN IT ENCOUNTERED THE ADVERSE WIND. THE BALLOON CHANGED ITS' DIRECTION OF TRAVEL 180 DEGS. THE PLT INITIATED A CLIMB BY SWITCHING ON BOTH BURNERS, BUT THE BALLOON DESCENDED AND WAS DRAGGED THROUGH THE TREE TOPS OF THE ORCHARD. AT 20 FT AGL THE BALLOON BEGAN TO CLIMB TO AN ALT OF 100 TO 120 FT AND THEN ENCOUNTERED A STRONG DOWNDRAFT.THE PLT SHUT OFF BOTH BURNERS AND PILOT LIGHTS AND THEN ALERTED THE PASSENGERS. THE PLT PULLED THE PARACHUTE DEFLATION PORT AND THE BALLOON LANDED HARD. ON IMPACT ONE PASSENGER WAS THROWN FROM THE BASKET AND SUSTAINED SERIOUS INJURIES.

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

EMERGENCY PROCEDURE..PERFORMED..PILOT IN COMMAND

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

PASSENGER BRIEFING..NOT FOLLOWED..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..UNFAVORABLE WIND


Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..DOWNDRAFT


Contributing Factors

PROPER DESCENT RATE..EXCEEDED..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

PRECAUTIONARY LANDING..INITIATED..PILOT IN COMMAND

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