On March 28, 1999, approximately 0700 mountain standard time, a Cameron V-77 balloon, N74008, owned and operated by the pilot, was not damaged following a hard landing near Elbert, Colorado. The commercial pilot received minor injuries and one passenger received serious injuries. The aircraft was being operated by the pilot under Title 14 CFR Part 91, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from a field near Black Forest, Colorado, at 0615. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
According the pilot, departure was normal, and they remained airborne for approximately 45 minutes. After selecting a field to land in, he cleared 30 foot power lines on the south end of the field. The pilot stated that at approximately 250 feet above the ground (agl), the winds decreased from 10 to between 5 to 7 mph. When the balloon touched down, the basket tipped on its side and was dragged approximately 100 feet across the level, smooth ground. The passenger lost her grip on the uprights (nylon poles which support the propane burner above the basket) and her arm was subsequently caught between the basket and the ground. Upon impact, her collar bone was broken. There was no damage to either the balloon or property on the ground.
The pilot stated in his accident report that a recommendation he could make to have helped prevent the accident would have been to make a "slower descent."