Monday, February 27, 2017

Balloon Works Firefly 7, N7423D: Accident occurred February 24, 2017 in Statesville, Iredell County, North Carolina

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

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA155
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, February 24, 2017 in Statesville, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/22/2017
Aircraft: BALLOON WORKS FIREFLY 7, registration: N7423D
Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The student pilot and flight instructor of the balloon were performing their ninth training flight. The instructor reported that, during the flight, the student made an approach to a grass field about 5 knots. During the landing, there were multiple touchdowns, and during the first, the balloon “rebounded back up” and touched down again about 65 ft northwest of the initial touchdown point. During the second touchdown, the student pilot put his right foot on the front of the basket to brace for the landing, and his left foot remained on the floor of the basket. The balloon touched down, and the student pilot rolled his ankle. The balloon “rebounded back up,” and the flight instructor pulled the valve line to deflate the balloon. The balloon came to rest about 30 ft farther to the northwest. The student pilot sustained a broken ankle. The balloon did not sustain substantial damage.

The student pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the balloon that would have precluded normal operation. 

Per the recommendation of the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge, the flight instructor reported the following:

In an effort to prevent an accident similar to the one that occurred with N7423D, I will brief student pilots as to the importance of bracing oneself correctly and that two feet on the floor during touchdowns will provide better stability from the human factors perspective of balance. I will also discuss this event in future safety forums within the balloon community in order to enhance safety. It is my belief that these actions will help to prevent any future occurrences of this nature.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The student pilot’s decision to place one foot on the balloon basket and one foot on the floor during the landing, which resulted in a broken ankle. 

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

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms


NTSB Identification: GAA17CA155
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, February 24, 2017 in Statesville, NC
Aircraft: BALLOON WORKS FIREFLY 7, registration: N7423D
Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The student pilot and flight instructor of the balloon, were performing their ninth training flight. The instructor reported that during the flight, the student made an approach to a grass field with the airspeed about 5 kts. During the landing there were multiple touch downs and during the first, the balloon "rebounded back up" and touched down again about 65 feet north-west of the initial touch down point. During the second touch down the student pilot put his right foot on the front of the basket to brace for the landing and his left foot remained on the floor of the basket. The balloon touched down and the student pilot rolled his ankle. The balloon "rebounded back up" and the flight instructor pulled the valve line to deflate the balloon. The balloon came to rest about 30 feet further to north-west. The student pilot sustained a broken ankle. The balloon did not sustain substantial damage.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the balloon that would have precluded normal operation. 

Per the recommendation of the NTSB Investigator-in-charge, the flight instructor reported:

In an effort to prevent an accident similar to the one that occurred with N7423D, I will brief student pilots as to the importance of bracing oneself correctly and that two feet on the floor during touch downs will provide better stability from the human factors perspective of balance. I will also discuss this event in future safety forums within the balloon community in order to enhance safety. It is my belief that these actions will help to prevent any future occurrences of this nature.

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