NTSB Identification: NYC02LA015.
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Accident occurred Saturday, October 20, 2001 in Morgantown, WV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/18/2002
Aircraft: Cameron Balloons A-105, registration: N991FA
Injuries: 1 Serious,4 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 made a hard landing and came to rest on the ground. The pilot climbed out of the basket to vent the balloon and was soon followed by the passengers. As the last passenger exited the basket, the balloon began to rise back into the air with the pilot hanging onto the vent line. The pilot ascended into the air and rose as high as the tree line before the balloon began a descent back to the ground. After the pilot touched back down on the ground, the basket of the balloon landed on top of his ankle. The pilot included an Operator/Owner Safety Recommendation when he submitted the NTSB Form 6120.1/2, Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report. It stated, "Re-Emphasize safety briefing just prior to landing to ensure all passengers remain within the basket until balloon has cooled (no lift present)." According to the Balloon Flying Handbook, "Some passengers, believing the flight is over as soon as the basket makes contact with the ground, will start to get out. Even a small amount of wind may cause the basket to bounce and slide after initial touchdown. If a 200-pound passenger decides to exit the basket at this point, the balloon will immediately begin to ascend." "Monitoring of passengers is important because, after the balloon first touches down, passengers may forget everything they have been told." "It is very important that the passenger briefing be given more than once."
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The passengers failure to remain in the balloon basket after landing which resulted in the inadvertent lift-off of the balloon and subsequent injury to the pilot. A factor related to the accident was the pilot's failure to perform a passenger briefing prior to landing. Full narrative available
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