NTSB Identification: CEN09CA018
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, October 07, 2008 in Albuquerque, NM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/22/2009
Aircraft: CAMERON BALLOONS US A-105, registration: N808SP
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor,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.

The commercial rated balloon pilot obtained a weather briefing prior to his departure as a participant in an international balloon festival. The weather briefing provided by festival officials included calm winds at the surface and a wind speed of 13 miles per hour aloft. The pilot and his passengers (his grandparents) departed and flew approximately five miles from their launch site at an altitude of 1,800 feet above ground level before they reached their destnation. The pilot reported that at the time they landed the winds were "gusty" on the surface and the balloon was moving approximately two miles per hour when the basket touched down on the ground. The balloon's basket dragged approximately 60 feet along the surface, became airborne again for approximately 150 feet, and then landed and came to a full stop. The pilot reported that his grandfather sustained a broken leg when the basket first contacted the ground. A Federal Aviation Administration inspector, who was working at the festival, reported that there were occassional wind gusts on the day of the accident, but the weather was mostly clear with calm winds.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain control of the balloon during landing. Contributing to the accident were the wind gusts.

Full narrative available

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