NTSB Identification: FTW01LA213.
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Accident occurred Saturday, September 29, 2001 in McKinney, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/20/2002
Aircraft: Cameron Balloon N-77, registration: N60206
Injuries: 1 Serious,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 pilot received a weather briefing and when they launched the balloon, the wind was as reported during the briefing. Approximately 30 minutes into the flight, the wind speed had increased. The pilot told his passenger that they were going to conduct a "lay down landing," and he briefed her on the proper landing position. The pilot was attempting to land in a field when both he and his passenger saw a fence in their flight path that they "had not seen before." The pilot attempted to slow the descent; however, they were too close, and the balloon basket impacted the fence. The passenger was thrown forward against the other side of the basket where she impacted and broke her arm. The balloon subsequently impacted the ground and drug approximately 300 feet before coming to a stop. The passenger reported that she had flown with the pilot on numerous occasions and was familiar with the balloon. She knew they were going to hit the fence; however, she "must not have been holding on tight enough" since she was thrown to the opposite side of the balloon basket.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: the pilot's failure to maintain clearance with the fence while landing. A contributing factor was the high wind condition. Full narrative available
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