DEN07CA011
DEN07CA011

On October 15, 2006, approximately 0850 mountain daylight time, an Adams A55S balloon, N9019A, piloted by a commercial pilot, was substantially damaged when the it struck power lines during descent at Albuquerque, New Mexico. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The personal flight was being conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 without a flight plan. The pilot was not injured but two passengers received minor injuries. The local flight originated from the Albuquerque Balloon Festival Park approximately 0815.

According to the pilot's accident report and the statement he gave FAA inspectors, the balloon was drifting south and approaching Interstate Highway 40. The southerly wind of about 5 knots increased in velocity and the pilot decided to land. He saw an open field and made his landing approach. A "strong wind shear drove the balloon into the ground." The balloon contacted the power lines, grounding them and causing a power loss. Although no load tapes were damaged, several panels in the envelope below the equator had burn holes. In addition, 7 of 16 suspension cables were thermally severed.



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