NTSB Identification: LAX06CA046.
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Accident occurred Friday, November 25, 2005 in Rancho Santa Fe, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/28/2006
Aircraft: Cameron Balloons N-180, registration: N4506B
Injuries: 12 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 balloon collided with a tree while attempting to land during a revenue sightseeing flight. The pilot said that he was descending to land in a golf course at the time of the accident and collided with a tree short of the intended landing zone after inadvertently shutting off the number 2 burner. The crossover valve for that burner is in close proximity to the burner handle. About 30 feet above the ground, the balloon collided with an eucalyptus tree. The balloon envelope tore slowly enough to safely drop the basket to the ground. None of the 11 passengers and crew onboard were injured.

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

the pilot's inadvertent deactivation of the number 2 burner, which resulted in an increased rate of descent and a collision with a tree short of the intended landing zone.

Full narrative available

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