Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Cameron Z-90, N982ZS: Accident occurred September 04, 2016 in Morrill, Scotts Bluff County, Nebraska

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf 

NTSB Identification: CEN16LA352
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, September 04, 2016 in Morrill, NE
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/01/2017
Aircraft: CAMERON Z90, registration: N982ZS
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The balloon was participating in a festival, and departed from a grass field with the private pilot and two passengers on board. The balloon climbed to 1,100 ft above ground level and drifted west. The pilot reported that, as the balloon approached a set of power lines, the wind diminished and the balloon became stationary. The pilot changed altitude several times in an attempt to find wind velocity and direction that would move the balloon away from the lines; however, as he again engaged the burners and attempted to climb, the burner system ran out of fuel. The balloon descended, and one of the metal carabiners that attached the basket to the envelope struck a power line, resulting in a spark. The pilot pulled the deflation valve and immediately descended the balloon to the ground. A postaccident examination of the balloon showed impact and thermal arcing damage to the carabiner. Two of the envelope panels exhibited thermal damage, and the envelope temperature sensor wire, which runs from the top of the envelope to the instruments in the basket, was burnt in half. The pilot reported there were no mechanical malfunctions or anomalies with the balloon.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s improper inflight fuel management, which resulted in fuel exhaustion and an inability to avoid contact with power lines. 

NTSB Identification: CEN16LA352
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, September 04, 2016 in Morrill, NE
Aircraft: CAMERON Z90, registration: N982ZS
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On September 4, 2016, about 0830 mountain daylight time, a Cameron Z-90 lighter than air balloon with airborne heater, N982ZS, struck a power line and terrain during an uncontrolled descent, two and a half miles northeast of Morrill, Nebraska. The pilot and two passengers on board were not injured and the balloon received substantial damage. The balloon was registered to, and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed for the flight that was operated without a flight plan. The local flight originated from the Mitchell, Nebraska, about 0726.

The flight was part of a balloon festival that was taking place at the time. The pilot and passengers took off from a field near Mitchell, Nebraska, climbed to 1,100 ft. agl, and drifted west at 4 to 5 knots. The pilot reported that as he came over the power lines the wind speed reduced to calm and the balloon stopped. The pilot changed altitudes several times to find wind velocity and a vector that would move him away from the lines. After several attempts to maneuver away from the lines the pilot engaged the burners to climb to a higher altitude. As he engaged the burners, the pilot said he heard a change in the burners sound. He checked his fuel gauges; the quantity was low, and engaged the burners again, but the balloon began to lose altitude. During the uncontrolled descent, the balloon contacted the power lines causing a spark. The pilot pulled the deflation line to get the basket on the ground. The balloon basket contacted the ground and the envelope draped over the power lines.

An examination of the balloon showed thermal arcing damage to one of the carabineers that attached the basket to the envelope. There was also thermal damage to two panels in the balloon envelope, and the envelope temperature sensor wire that runs from the sensor at the top of the envelope to the instruments in the basket was burnt in half. No other anomalies with the balloon or its systems were found.

At 0853, the weather conditions at Western Nebraska Regional Airport (BFF), Scottsbluff, Nebraska, 18 nautical miles east-southeast of the accident site was clear skies, visibility 10 statute miles, and wind 150 degrees at 6 knots.

http://registry.faa.gov/N982ZS

NTSB Identification: CEN16LA352
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, September 04, 2016 in Morrill, NE
Aircraft: CAMERON Z90, registration: N982ZS
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On September 4, 2016, about 0830 mountain daylight time, a Cameron Z-90 lighter than air balloon with airborne heater, N982ZS, registered to and operated by a private individual, struck a power line and terrain during an uncontrolled descent, two and a half miles northeast of Morrill, Nebraska. The pilot and two passengers on board were not injured and the balloon received substantial damage. Visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed at the time of the accident. The personal flight was being conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 without a flight plan. The local flight originated from Mitchell, Nebraska, about 0700.

The pilot reported that he ran out of fuel while in flight and was not able to maneuver the balloon to his intended landing site. During the uncontrolled descent, the balloon struck powerlines, which did thermal arcing damage to one of the carabiners that attaches the basket to the envelope. There was also thermal damage to two panels in the balloon envelope, and the envelope temperature sensor wire that runs from the top of the envelope to the instruments in the basket was burnt in half.

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