NTSB Identification: CEN14LA007
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, October 09, 2013 in Rio Rancho, NM
Aircraft: CAMERON BALLOONS US V 77, registration: N9528A
Injuries: 2 Serious.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
On October 9, 2013, about 0800 mountain daylight time, a Cameron V-77 hot air balloon, N9528A, owned and operated by a private individual was substantially damaged when it impacted a power line while on approach to land in a field near Rio Ranch, New Mexico. An explosion occurred and a fire ensued as the balloon descended to the ground. The pilot and passenger on board received serious injuries. The personal flight was being conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 without a flight plan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The flight originated at Fiesta Field, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The pilot said they took off from Fiesta Field and had been in the air for a little over an hour when the accident occurred. He said he and his passenger were attempting to land. He said they made three attempts to land. The wind was too hard on the first attempt. The next attempt, they found themselves over a residential subdivision and as they got close to the ground there were cars and other obstacles that prevented them from landing. The pilot then saw a street with a power line on the far side, and an open area on the other side of the power line. He said his intent was to get over the power line and then drop the balloon down on the ground.
The pilot said they were over the road and a couple of feet above where the tops of the power lines were, when the balloon dropped and struck the power lines. He said he burned to get off and over them. The basket slid off the first two wires, but when the basket touched the third wire, there was the sound of an electrical short and then an explosion. The passenger was in the part of the basket over where the explosion occurred. The pilot said the explosion was the last thing he remembered until he found himself on the ground with the envelope going down. He tried to put a fire out that was ensuing in the basket and tried to get the passenger out of the basket. The crew arrived shortly after.
The pilot said that he received burns to his arms and face. The passenger received severe burns up his arm, such that the arm had to later be amputated.
At 0752, the weather conditions at the Albuquerque International Airport, 15 miles south-southeast of Rio Rancho, were wind calm, visibility 10 statute miles, few clouds at 20,000 feet, temperature 55 degrees Fahrenheit (F), dew point, 33 degrees F, and altimeter 30.02 inches of Mercury.
Index for Oct2013 | Index of months