NTSB Identification: ATL04LA094.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, April 07, 2004 in Eatonton, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/28/2004
Aircraft: Firefly F8B, registration: N2200D
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

According to a witness during the inflation process of the balloon, a quick release tie down eyebolt that was attached to a windline broke. As the windline released it struck the pilot in the head. The quick release tie down eyebolt was installed on the tailgate of an automobile. The balloon skid across the grass and hit a tree. Examination of the balloon revealed that six wicker panels were broken. Further examination of the quick release tie down eyebolt revealed that the fracture features were typical of a recent bending overstress fracture. According to the balloon manufacture, the quick release tie down eyebolt that failed was an after-market item.

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

The overload failure of the windline quick release tiedown eyebolt.

Full narrative available

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