NTSB Identification: LAX08CA112.
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Sunday, April 13, 2008 in Buckeye, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/28/2008
Aircraft: Ultramagic N-250, registration: N35EX
Injuries: 1 Serious,10 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 pilot stated that prior to departing for the sightseeing flight in the balloon, he gave the 10 passengers a safety briefing. The briefing included instructions on hard landings, which were to hang onto a handle and stay low in the basket. During the flight, the winds increased, and the pilot estimated there was an 18- to 20-mph wind blowing for the landing. Prior to landing, he warned the passengers it would be a "hard rough landing." When the balloon was on final approach, he told the passengers to "grab handles, get down, get way down, stay down." The balloon contacted the ground and was dragged 50 to 70 yards. During the ground drag, the pilot heard one of the passengers yell out that her nose was broken. She had bumped her face on the rail getting down. Additionally, she sustained a broken wrist. Later, the passenger told the pilot that she had "wanted to look, and did not get down in time." The injured passenger reported that before takeoff, the pilot told the passengers, "if I tell you it's going to be rough, get down in the bottom of the basket." The passenger did not recall whether the pilot told the passengers it was going to be rough before the landing. It was a rough landing, and her son, who was also a passenger, pulled her into the bottom of the basket.

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

The passenger's failure to hear and follow the pilot's instructions to get down in the bottom of the balloon basket before the high wind landing. A contributing factor was the high wind condition.

Full narrative available

Index for Apr2008 | Index of months