MIA96LA177
MIA96LA177

On July 4, 1996, about 0725 central daylight time, an Aerostar International RX-8 balloon, N7155N, registered to a private individual, collided with a tower and crashed to the ground near Canton, Mississippi, while on a 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed. The balloon received substantial damage and the commercial-rated pilot and two passengers received serious injuries. The flight originated from Canton, Mississippi, the same day about 0700.

The pilot stated that after takeoff they climbed to about 1,000 feet. After 15 minutes they descended to about 500 feet and began moving to the south of a 495 foot tower. They passed the tower and as they did the balloon climbed about 50 feet. They encountered a wind which blew them back into the tower. The balloon collided with the tower and the envelope was pierced. The balloon began to descend and he attempted to heat what was left of the envelope. The balloon impacted with a tree and then the ground.

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