On October 8, 1998, approximately 1000 mountain daylight time, a Balloon Works Firefly-7 balloon, N36609, was not damaged during a hard landing near Albuquerque, New Mexico. The private pilot and one passenger were not injured; however, a second passenger received serious injuries. The balloon was being operated by the pilot under Title 14 CFR Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local personal flight which originated from Kodak Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Park, Albuquerque, New Mexico, approximately 60 minutes before the accident. No flight plan had been filed. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
According to the pilot, he was preparing to land in a small field with power lines upwind and downwind. He had instructed the passengers, the pilot's mother and a balloon ground crew member, how to brace themselves for a "cold fast landing." The pilot stated, upon landing, that as soon as they contacted the ground, he heard one of his passengers "scream in pain." Attempting to stop the balloon with the top pulled out, the balloon swung forward 6-8 ft. where it touched down a second time. After deflation of the balloon, he and one of his passengers exited the balloon, the other passenger was unable to exit due to two broken legs.