After the local sightseeing balloon flight, one passenger sustained a broken arm when the balloon basket tipped over as it contacted the ground upon landing. A second passenger sustained minor injuries. The pilot was uninjured. The balloon was not damaged. The pilot reported that based on a handheld global positioning system (GPS) receiver the balloon's groundspeed was approximately 8 miles-per-hour as it approached for landing. He noted that because he expected the balloon basket to tip over upon contact with the ground, he decided to execute a high wind approach and landing. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot stated that the passengers were briefed to hold on at two locations within the basket and to keep their knees bent in order to absorb impact forces. He reported that the balloon was stabilized about 4 feet off the ground prior to landing, the burner pilot light was extinguished, and the envelope deflation port was opened. He stated that when the basket contacted the ground and began to tip forward, one of the passenger's arms became trapped beneath her, fracturing her forearm.
At 1935, the Millard Airport (MLE) Automated Surface Observing System, recorded winds from 050 degrees at 6 knots. MLE was located approximately 6 miles from the accident site.