NTSB Identification: WPR12CA163A
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, April 10, 2012 in Sedona, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/28/2012
Aircraft: AVIAN BALLOON MAGNUM IX, registration: N2037U
Injuries: 14 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.

Two balloons were on approach to land and collided into each other. Balloon A, N2037U, was at a lower altitude and in front of balloon B, N20513. As the pilots were descending to land, balloon A began to slow about 10 feet above ground level and the pilot of balloon B realized that the balloons' envelopes might touch, which he noted was not uncommon during takeoffs and landings. As balloon A came closer into his view, he thought the contact may push it into the ground, so he decided to ascend. During the climb, the basket of balloon B collided with the envelope of balloon A, tearing two of its panels just above the equator, resulting in substantial damage. The pilot of balloon B landed his balloon without further incident. The pilot of balloon A observed the envelope tearing and opened both burners. His balloon contacted the ground and bounced, momentarily becoming airborne again before touching down. Both pilots stated that there were no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the balloons that would have precluded normal operation.

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

The pilot of another balloon did not maintain adequate clearance during approach for landing between his basket and the envelope of this balloon that was also on approach, which resulted in a midair collision.

Full narrative available

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