NTSB Identification: WPR09CA207
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, April 18, 2009 in Tracy, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/22/2009
Aircraft: AEROSTAR INTERNATIONAL INC RAVEN S49A, registration: N6378E
Injuries: 1 Serious,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 pilot reported that while approaching an open field for landing, the balloon suddenly slowed down. Shortly after, he noticed that the balloon had contacted power line wires and that the lines were traveling down the side of the balloon's envelope and uprights and trapped his passenger against the basket. The pilot stated that the passenger was able to free herself as he was able to kick the wires from the corner of the basket. The balloon subsequently ascended about 200 feet. The pilot proceeded to initiate a landing in the nearest open field and landed without further incident. The pilot further reported that neither he nor his passenger saw the power lines prior to impact. Examination of the hot air balloon revealed that the envelope and basket sustained minor damage; however, the passenger sustained serious injuries.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain clearance from the power lines.

Full narrative available

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