ERA11CA353
ERA11CA353

The pilot of the balloon elected to land in a large field after the wind speed increased during the flight. During the approach, the pilot aligned the gondola to scrape along the top of a tree line adjacent to the intended landing field. He stated that, in ballooning, it is a common practice to scrape against the tops of trees on approach. The pilot stated that he got too low during the maneuver and the balloon's "red line" became tangled in the trees which caused the envelope to deflate. The balloon then caught fire and the gondola settled to the ground as the pilot turned off the fuel. Both he and the passenger egressed the gondola safely before fire consumed the gondola.

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