FTW96LA292
FTW96LA292

On July 5, 1996, approximately 0730 mountain daylight time, a Raven S55A balloon, N4273Y, received no damage during a high wind landing near Gunnison, Colorado. The pilot and one passenger were not injured, but another passenger did receive a serious injury. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight conducted under Title 14 CFR Part 91. The flight originated at Gunnison, Colorado, on July 5, 1996, approximately 0700.

According to the pilot, the wind was calm when the balloon took off. After 15 minutes of flying at 1,000 feet agl (above ground level), the pilot noticed other balloons at lower altitudes traveling at higher ground speeds. The pilot descended to 200 to 300 feet agl and estimated the wind at that altitude to be in excess of 30 knots. After flying at this altitude for 10 minutes, the pilot decided to land and chose an open field. During the high wind landing that ensued, one of the two passengers aboard sustained a serious injury. The pilot said that 15 minutes after the landing, the winds were again calm.

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