NTSB Identification: CEN13LA032
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, October 10, 2012 in Albuquerque, NM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/12/2013
Aircraft: AEROSTAR INTERNATIONAL RX8, registration: N90550
Injuries: 2 Minor,1 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.

After attending a mandatory preflight briefing at a balloon festival, the pilot launched his balloon with the first group of balloons to launch. During an approach for landing in a field, the balloon encountered stronger-than-expected wind. The approach to the landing crossed power lines, a commercial building, and a fence. The pilot stated that as the balloon approached the field, it became unresponsive and impacted the fence; he thought that the balloon encountered a "false heavy," or wind shear, which resulted in a loss of lift.

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

The pilot’s failure to attain the desired touchdown point because of wind conditions and surrounding obstructions, which resulted in the balloon impacting a fence during the approach to landing.

Full narrative available

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