NTSB Identification: DEN01LA158.
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Accident occurred Sunday, September 02, 2001 in Colo. Springs, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/20/2002
Aircraft: Balloon Works Firefly 8B-15, registration: N2575P
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot and his passenger took off in the balloon, leveled off at 1,000 feet, and flew south. The wind velocity increased to about 15 mph and the pilot decided to land. He chose a field in which two balloons had already landed. He briefed his passenger on the position to assume for a high wind landing. The pilot made a "stand up" landing, but a thermal caused the balloon to ascend about 30 to 40 feet. It touched down a second time and the pilot vented the envelope. According to the pilot, the "passenger's foot was out of position and twisted on impact." X-rays taken later indicated the ankle was fractured.

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

the passenger's failure to follow instructions given to brace for a high wind landing, and the pilot's failure to adequately monitor the passenger's actions. A contributing factor was the thermal lift.

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