NTSB Identification: WPR12CA173
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, February 17, 2012 in Temecula, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/28/2012
Aircraft: LINDSTRAND LBL180A, registration: N49CD
Injuries: 9 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 launched from a field with eight passengers for a commercial hot air balloon flight. He planned to conduct a 60-minute flight, followed by a landing at one of the operator's known landing areas. According to the pilot, about 50 minutes into the flight, he initiated an approach for landing at one of the planned locations,and, during the descent, he obtained an automated weather observation from an airport located about 6 miles to the northwest. During the approach, the pilot determined that the wind speed and direction would not permit a landing at his first intended site. He added heat, leveled out about 50 feet above ground level, and headed for a second landing site. As he neared that site, another pilot who had landed at that site advised him that the wind had increased, so he decided to continue to a third landing site. During the climb and transit to the third site, the balloon struck some electrical wires. The balloon remained entangled in the wires for a few seconds and then descended to the ground. A postaccident examination of the balloon revealed that 3 of the 12 cables between the basket and the envelope were severed, 3 cables under the basket were severed, and 14 fabric panels received various amounts of damage. The pilot stated that he had been subjected to "target fixation" on the third landing site, and did not see the power lines.

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

The pilot failed to see and avoid a set of power lines while maneuvering to a landing site.

Full narrative available

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