NTSB Identification: SEA02LA122.
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Accident occurred Friday, July 05, 2002 in Victor, ID
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/23/2003
Aircraft: Head Balloons, Inc. AX8-88, registration: N4522E
Injuries: 3 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 of the Head Balloon AX8-88 hot air balloon reported that about 20 minutes after departure he encountered increasing westerly winds of 10 mph and decided to select an alternate landing site. During the approach one of the passengers called "power lines." The pilot, who was already applying burner, was unable to clear the lines and about 5-10 seconds later the upper supports of the basket contacted the power lines. One of the three wires fell away and the pilot attempted to stabilize the balloon as it remained in contact with the two remaining lines. The basket then came to rest on a highway in an upright attitude. The aviation surface weather observation taken shortly after the accident at Idaho Falls and located 42 nautical miles west-southwest reported winds from 200 degrees magnetic at 11 knots with winds gradually increasing in strength during the morning.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's failure to maintain altitude/clearance from the power lines during the landing resulting in the balloon's impacting the wires. Contributing factors were the power lines and strong winds existent at the time. Full narrative available
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