In a telephone interview, the pilot stated that prior to departing for the sightseeing flight in the balloon, he gave the 10 passengers a safety briefing. The briefing included instructions on hard landings, which were to hang onto a handle and stay low in the basket. During the flight, the winds increased, and the pilot estimated there was an 18- to 20-mph wind blowing for the landing. Prior to landing, he warned the passengers it would be a "hard rough landing." When the balloon was on final approach, he told the passengers to "grab handles, get down, get way down, stay down." The balloon contacted the ground and was dragged 50 to 70 yards. During the ground drag, the pilot heard one of the passengers yell out that her nose was broken. She had bumped her face on the rail getting down. Additionally, she sustained a broken wrist. Later, the passenger told the pilot that she had "wanted to look, and did not get down in time." Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
During a telephone interview, the injured passenger reported that before takeoff, the pilot told the passengers, "if I tell you it's going to be rough, get down in the bottom of the basket." The passenger did not recall whether the pilot told the passengers it was going to be rough before the landing. It was a rough landing, and her son, who was also a passenger, pulled her into the bottom of the basket.