NTSB Identification: NYC06CA022.
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Accident occurred Sunday, October 30, 2005 in Bethlehem Twp., NJ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/28/2006
Aircraft: Cameron Balloons O-90, registration: N4066X
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 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.

A ground crewmember was assisting in the inflation and launch of a hot air balloon. Just prior to lift-off, as the pilot was adding heat for the climb out, the crewmember became entangled in the two vent lines that were draped outside of the balloon's basket. When the balloon lifted off, the crewmember was lifted approximately 75 feet above ground level. The pilot attempted to lose altitude by venting hot air from the envelope, but was unable, as both vent lines were wrapped about the crewmember's right ankle. The pilot then attempted to get the crewmember closer to the ground by aiming at a small tree. The balloon struck the tree at a downward angle, the crewman became untangled, fell through a barn roof, and sustained serious injuries.

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

The ground crewmember's inadvertent entanglement in the balloon's vent lines.

Full narrative available

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