CEN09CA328
CEN09CA328

After a 60-minute morning balloon flight the pilot executed a normal flare to a touch down into two-foot high pasture grass on a soft soil base. GPS records show the touchdown was at six miles per hour. The pilot used the rotator vent to align the balloon so all of the occupants were facing forward for the touchdown and had previously instructed the passengers how to hold on the rope handles and braces and how to slightly bend their knees for the first impacts of landing. A 79-year old female passenger said because she was so short she had to stretch her left arm to hold on to the upper brace. At the first contact with the ground, her adult son who was standing behind her, said he heard a "pop" and she screamed in pain. After the basket stopped moving the pilot deflated the balloon and tipped the basket on its side to assist the injured passenger in exiting. The passenger was transported to the hospital for treatment of a broken left humerus bone. The other occupants were not injured and the balloon was not damaged.

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