NTSB Identification: NYC04CA128.
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Accident occurred Sunday, May 23, 2004 in Whately, MA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/01/2004
Aircraft: Cameron Balloons N90, registration: N6123U
Injuries: 1 Serious,4 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The surface winds were very light when the balloon tookoff; however, the wind velocity increased during the flight. Due to the increased wind velocity, the pilot chose an open field to land the balloon. During the approach, windshear drove the balloon into trees. The balloon then became entangled in trees about 10 feet agl. A tree limb subsequently broke, and the balloon fell to the ground. The reported weather about the time of the accident included variable winds at 4-6 knots, with thunderstorm activity in the area.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain clearance from the trees. A factor was windshear.

Full narrative available

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