NTSB Identification: ATL83LA325.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 21859.
Accident occurred Saturday, August 13, 1983 in LOUISVILE, KY
Aircraft: PICCARD AX-6, registration: N16JF
Injuries: 1 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 PLT RECEIVED A WX BRIEFING AT 0600 EDT & NOTED NOTHING SIGNIFICANT THAT WOULD BE A HAZARD TO FLT. HE PROCEEDED TO LONG RUN PARK, APRX 20 MI EAST OF LOUISVILLE, KY, TO LAUNCH THE BALLON. THERE WAS A 654 FOOT TOWER IN THE VICINITY, BUT THE PLT BELIEVED THE NORTHERLY, 5 KT WIND WOULD CARRY THE BALLOON WELL CLEAR. HE STATED THAT AFTER LIFT-OFF, THE BALLOON BEGAN PROCEEDING ON A PARALLEL COURSE, WELL CLEAR OF THE TOWER. IT THEN ENCOUNTERED A SUDDEN WIND-SHIFT & BEGAN DRIFTING TOWARD THE TOWER WITH INCREASING SPEED. THE PLT ELECTED TO CLIMB TO AVOID THE TOWER. BOTH BLAST VALVES WERE OPENED TO CLIMB AS RAPIDLY AS POSSIBLE & A CLIMB RATE OF 900 TO 1000 FT.MIN WAS OBTAINED. HOWEVER, THE WIND SPEED CONTINUED TO INCREASE. AFTER REALIZING THAT AVOIDANCE WAS NO LONGER POSSIBLE, HE SHUT OFF THE BLAST VALVES & PREPARED FOR A COLLISION. THE BALLOON STRUCK THE TOWER APRX 20 FT FROM THE TOP, THE PLT CLIMBED ONTO THE TOWER STAIRCASE & DESCENDED ON FOOT. THE BALLOON WAS EXTENSIVELY DAMAGED.

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

PLANNING/DECISION..IMPROPER..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..UNFAVORABLE WIND


Contributing Factors

OBJECT..ELECTRICAL TOWER(MARKED)

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