NTSB Identification: WPR10CA058
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, November 11, 2009 in Napa, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/03/2010
Aircraft: CAMERON BALLOONS US A-250, registration: N4062M
Injuries: 1 Serious,12 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 of the balloon reported that after three unsuccessful landing attempts during the sightseeing flight, he located a grassy 2-3 acre field and positioned the balloon for landing. He stated that the approach was from the northwest at 500-feet and the balloon was traveling about 6 knots. The pilot anticipated winds near the surface to be from the east; however, after descending to 250-feet the balloon continued in a southerly direction, near trees. The pilot executed a controlled descent over a tree and landed firmly. The basket bounced once and came to rest upright with the balloon's envelope against a tree. After the landing, one of the passengers complained of ankle pain and was transported to a hospital. A medical evaluation revealed that the passenger's ankle was fractured. The pilot reported that a passenger landing briefing was completed prior to landing.

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

The pilot's encounter with variable winds which resulted in a hard landing and passenger injury.

Full narrative available

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