NTSB Identification: DEN05CA009.
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Accident occurred Saturday, October 09, 2004 in Albuquerque, NM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/24/2005
Aircraft: Thunder and Colt 180A, registration: N784TC
Injuries: 1 Serious,3 Minor,3 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.

According to the pilot, during the hot air balloon's descent, he noticed that the surface winds had increased to approximately 18 knots. The pilot prepared his passengers for a high-wind landing. The balloon landed hard and bounced. One passenger, who remained in the balloon's basket, received a broken ankle. A second passenger, who remained in the basket, and two passengers who were ejected from the basket, each received minor cuts and scratches. The balloon was not damaged.

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

the balloon pilot's improper in-flight planning and failure to maintain aircraft control during descent into high winds resulting in a hard landing and subsequent serious injury to a passenger. Factors contributing to the accident were the high winds and excessive descent rate.

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