NTSB Identification: ERA11LA469
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, August 20, 2011 in Lewiston, ME
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/06/2012
Aircraft: LINDSTRAND BALLOONS 180A, registration: N75213
Injuries: 1 Serious,4 Minor,4 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.

A witness, who boarded the balloon for a sightseeing flight, reported that the pilot bent over and contacted a gas line with his arm. The line connection separated at the inflation tank, and gas sprayed upward and ignited. The pilot received second-degree burns on his hands and arms. Three passengers and one ground crewmember received minor injuries. A postaccident examination revealed that a rubber o-ring on the inflation tank valve was partially exposed and out of its normal position. The examination revealed that there was no approval documentation for the installation of the inflation tank.

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

The separation of the inflation tank gas line due to an improperly positioned valve o-ring. Contributing to the accident was the use of an unapproved inflation tank.

Full narrative available

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