NTSB Identification: CEN10CA456
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, July 30, 2010 in Longview, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/20/2010
Aircraft: LINDSTRAND 69A, registration: N96LN
Injuries: 2 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 was on approach to a target at the Great Texas Balloon Race. Witnesses said that it appeared the balloon was slightly below a set of telephone wires as it approached the target area. The pilot saw the wires and took action to clear the lines. However, as he leaned over the side of the basket to see the obstacle better, he inadvertently pulled the burner assembly off center of the envelope throat. The burner then ignited the skirt and 22 envelope panels. The pilot landed the balloon was immediately.

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

The the pilot's inadvertent movement of the burner assembly off center resulting in an in-flight fire of the skirt and envelope of the balloon. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's attention being diverted to venting the envelope to avoid an obstacle and lose altitude.

Full narrative available

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