NTSB Identification: WPR10LA300
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, June 18, 2010 in Grants Pass, OR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/07/2011
Aircraft: ARBC INC DBA LINDSTRAND 120A, registration: N501LB
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

During the post-landing, pre-deflation portion of a hot air balloon flight, the basket of the balloon began to lift off the ground when one of the individuals holding it released their grip on the top rim of the basket. At that point, the remaining three individuals holding the basket released their grip on the top rim of the basket and the balloon began to ascend. As the basket lifted higher into the air, one of the individuals who had released their grip on the basket top rim grabbed onto the rope handles near the base of the basket and was therefore lifted about 20 feet into the air. As soon as the pilot realized that someone was hanging from the bottom of the basket, he began venting air from the top of the balloon in order to get the basket back on the ground. But the individual hanging from the rope handles lost his grip and fell to grassy terrain below. The injured person had extensive experience acting as a balloon ground crew member and as a passenger in a balloon. He had no memory of the event, and it could not be determined why he grabbed onto the rope handles after releasing his grip from the basket rim.

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

The balloon ground crew member's decision to not release his hold on the basket of an ascending hot air balloon basket as it lifted off of the ground.

Full narrative available

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