On August 26, 2002, at 1940 central daylight time, a Balloon Works FireFly 7B-15 balloon, N242MS, was not damaged during a high wind landing near Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The commercial pilot and one passenger were not injured, and one passenger sustained serious injuries. The balloon was registered to the pilot and a private individual and operated by Flying High Balloon Services, Oklahoma City. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan was not filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 aerial observation flight. The local balloon flight departed Edmond, Oklahoma, at 1910. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
According to the 883-hour pilot, prior to the flight, he checked the weather conditions from several weather reporting sources. After arriving at the launch site, the pilot set off a pibal (weather balloon) to assess the wind conditions. At departure, the wind was from 090 degrees at 7 knots. Approximately 20 minutes into the flight, the pilot noticed that the surface winds appeared to be increasing. The pilot briefed the passengers on high wind landing procedures which included: sitting down on the bottom of the basket, hold on to the interior handles, and do not get out of the basket until told to do so by the pilot. The pilot "executed a textbook high wind landing." After the balloon came to rest, the pilot and passengers exited the balloon basket; however, one of the passengers mentioned that her ankle was sore. It was determined by medical personnel that the passenger sustained a broken ankle.