NTSB Identification: CEN11CA398
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, June 16, 2011 in Le Center, MN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/19/2011
Aircraft: LINDSTRAND LBL120A, registration: N5595L
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor,3 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.
According to the pilot, the accident occurred as he attempted to land the hot air balloon in a 7-8 knot wind. The pilot stated that he briefed the passengers regarding the landing procedures prior to the landing. The first three landing approaches were aborted due to obstacles. During the fourth approach the pilot shut off the pilot lights for the balloon's burner and instructed the passengers to brace prior to touchdown. The basket touched down and rotated forward, which the pilot expected. He stated he was deflating the envelope when one of the passengers began to stand up and was nearly ejected from the basket as it touched down a second time. The pilot stated he grabbed the passenger's belt to prevent her from falling out of the basket which resulted in him being in an unstable position. With the next bump, the pilot was ejected from the basket. The pilot held onto the deflation line and was drug by the basket, sustaining serious injuries. The ground crew instructed the passengers to pull the "red line" deflation valve allowing the balloon to come to a stop.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The failure of the passenger to follow the pilot's instructions during landing, which caused the pilot to be ejected from the balloon and sustain serious injuries.
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