NTSB Identification: CEN10CA017
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, October 08, 2009 in Albuquerque, NM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/03/2010
Aircraft: CAMERON Z77, registration: N4502V
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.

After a morning balloon flight the pilot was making an approach to landing on a golf course. During a descent to treetop level the pilot reported the winds varied from 8 to 17 miles per hour. After descending below the tops of the trees the pilot reported a gust of 17 miles per hour with a “significant wind shift,” which moved the balloon laterally toward a line of trees. Just before touchdown the pilot said that she “pulled the top” to avoid hitting the trees and “we landed quickly dragging about 5 feet”. As the envelope deflated it snagged a tree causing minor damage to the balloon. The pilot sustained a fractured ankle and one passenger sustained minor injuries. The other occupant was not injured.

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 the approach and landing.

Full narrative available

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