NTSB Identification: CHI06CA160.
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Accident occurred Sunday, June 11, 2006 in Gretna, NE
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/03/2006
Aircraft: Head Balloons, Inc. AX8-88, registration: N83030
Injuries: 1 Serious,2 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.
After the local sightseeing balloon flight, one passenger sustained a broken arm when the balloon basket tipped over as it contacted the ground upon landing. A second passenger sustained minor injuries. The pilot was uninjured. The balloon was not damaged. The pilot reported that based on a handheld global positioning system (GPS) receiver the balloon's groundspeed was approximately 8 miles-per-hour as it approached for landing. He noted that because he expected the balloon basket to tip over upon contact with the ground, he decided to execute a high wind approach and landing. The pilot stated that the passengers were briefed to hold on at two locations within the basket and to keep their knees bent in order to absorb impact forces. He reported that the balloon was stabilized about 4 feet off the ground prior to landing, the burner pilot light was extinguished, and the envelope deflation port was opened. He stated that when the basket contacted the ground and began to tip forward, one of the passenger's arms became trapped beneath her, fracturing her forearm. Local surface winds were observed to be 6 knots about the time of the accident.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: A run-on landing encountered by the pilot of the balloon due to the prevailing winds. The unfavorable winds were a contributing factor. Full narrative available
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