NTSB Identification: NYC06CA117.
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Accident occurred Monday, May 22, 2006 in Montvale, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/03/2006
Aircraft: Cameron Balloons Z-120, registration: N1072S
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.

According to the pilot, while attempting to land a hot air balloon, the winds became "gusty" at 10 to 15 knots and he initiated a "high wind landing." According to a passenger, the pilot had told him that it was supposed to "calm." The passenger estimated, however; that the wind was probably around 20 knots. He stated that during the landing the balloon "hit pretty hard" and the basket tipped over horizontally and dragged to a stop. He recalled that when the basket tipped over, another passenger stated that it "felt like something was on her feet" and he later realized that both of her ankles were broken.

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

The pilot's failure to arrest an excessive descent rate prior to ground contact, which resulted in a hard landing. A factor in the accident were the wind gusts.

Full narrative available

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