NTSB Identification: WPR14CA168
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, April 14, 2014 in Mayer, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/18/2014
Aircraft: LINSTRAND 240A, registration: N2646Z
Injuries: 3 Minor,7 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 stated that he checked the weather in the early morning, which prepared him for light wind conditions. After inflation of the balloon, he performed a safety briefing for the passengers and departed shortly thereafter. When the balloon was en route, the ground crew advised the pilot of the high wind conditions. The pilot stated that he was not able to operate in his usual area and therefore had to maneuver the balloon over inhospitable terrain in conditions that did not allow for an immediate landing. The pilot gave the passengers a landing briefing relaying the information that an unexpected increase in surface wind speed prohibited them from landing in the areas that were originally intended. The pilot felt he had limited options suitable for landing and with canyons approaching, he opted to touchdown in an area of rough, volcanic rock. During landing, the basket was strewn across the rough rocky terrain and sustained substantial damage.

The pilot stated that there were no mechanical malfunctions or failures with the balloon that would have precluded normal operation.

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

The balloon's encounter with unexpected increased wind, which resulted in a hard landing on rough terrain.

Full narrative available

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