Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Cameron A-250, registered to Colorado Rocky Ballooning LLC and operated by Colorado Hot Air Balloon Rides, N2025J: Fatal accident occurred August 03, 2018 in Hartsel, Park County, Colorado

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Denver, Colorado

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


Location: Hartsel, CO
Accident Number: CEN18LA309
Date & Time: 08/03/2018, 0815 MDT
Registration: N2025J
Aircraft: Cameron A 250
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious, 9 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal - Sightseeing 

On August 3, 2018, about 0815 mountain daylight time, a Cameron Balloons A250 balloon, N2025J, landed in an open field about 12 miles east of Hartsel, Colorado. The commercial rated pilot, commercial rated co-pilot, and 7 passengers were not injured; 1 passenger sustained serious injuries and the final passenger was fatally injured. The balloon did not sustain any damage. The balloon was registered to Colorado Rocky Ballooning LLC, Dillon, Colorado, and operated by Colorado Hot Air Balloon Rides under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a revenue sightseeing flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident and no flight plan had been filed for the local flight.

The responding Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector reported that the balloon departed from a field about 6 miles northwest of the accident site at 0717. At the end of the sightseeing flight the pilot landed the balloon in a flat field; during the landing the basket bounced several times and tipped over. When the basket tipped over two passengers fell out; one passenger landed on top of the other and both sustained injuries. One of the injured passengers was flown to a local hospital a died as a result of her injures from the accident.

After the accident the pilot-in-command stated that the wind speed was moderate about 7 to 8 mph and that they expected the basket to tip over after landing. Upon landing the balloon bounced three times over a distance of 50 ft then came to rest. The co-pilot "pulled the top out" to release the hot air and deflate the envelope. During the deflation the basket tipped over on its side and the two passengers in the upper left compartment of the basket fell out.

Several of the other passengers onboard the balloon stated that pilots briefed them about the landing and how they should situate themselves in the basket for a safe landing. The pilots instructed them to crouch down, hold onto two straps on the basket, and brace against the side wall. The passengers knew that the basket was expected to tip over after landing.

Postaccident photos of the landing site revealed several ground scars leading up to the basket, which came to rest on its side (figure 1).

Figure 1 – Accident site

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cameron
Registration: N2025J
Model/Series: A 250 No Series
Aircraft Category: Balloon
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Colorado Hot Air Balloon Rides
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: K4BM, 11280 ft msl
Observation Time: 1430 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 4 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 11°C / 3°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 6 knots / , 310°
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 10000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.57 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Hartsel, CO
Destination: Hartsel, CO

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Damage: None
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious, 7 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious, 9 None
Latitude, Longitude:  39.005833, -105.576944 (est)
Dana Joyce Haskell

A former Columbus educator who died in a hot-air-balloon accident over the weekend in Colorado was fondly remembered by her peers Monday afternoon.

Dana Joyce Haskell, 73, was severely injured when the balloon “did a hard landing,” according to a released statement from the Park County Emergency Management Office via Twitter.

The hot air balloon was carrying nine passengers and two pilots when it slammed into the ground near Hartsel, Colorado, the Park County Emergency Management Office reported.

Haskell was one of two women injured. Following the crash, Haskell was life-flighted by Flight for Life to Penrose Hospital in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she subsequently passed later in the evening.

Haskell served as an educator for the Columbus Public Schools District for 33 years. She started her career in 1967 as an English teacher at Columbus Junior High School and officially retired from CMS in 2000.

Amy Jahn, library media technology specialist at CMS, only worked with Haskell during the final four years of her career but said that it was an ample amount of time to get to know the kind of person she was.

“She coached a little bit of volleyball and taught English,” Jahn said. “I didn’t work with her that long, but she was very active, full of life, loved to golf and socialize. She just loved adventure."

Jahn said she was shocked when she heard the news of Haskell’s death, but that it came as no surprise that her former co-worker was out living life to her fullest when disaster struck.

“She was never a person who was going to be slowed down by her age or circumstances,” Jahn said. “She always got out there and stayed active. Her kindness, her sociability and her love for adventure were really what her demeanor was all about.”

The hot-air balloon flight originated out of the Hartsel area, released information stated. The Federal Aviation Administration, National Transportation Safety Board and Park County Coroner David Kintz Jr. continue investigating contributing factors.

Kintz told The Telegram on Monday that he and his office were unable to further comment on the accident while the investigation continues.

Gene Stanley, director of the Park County Emergency Management Office, said in a situation like this he and his team simply make sure that the proper first responders are getting to where they need to be. On Friday, Stanley said that Hartsel Fire Protection District and South Park Ambulance District were dispatched to the scene of the accident.

Stanley said that while hot-air balloon accidents -- especially those resulting in a fatality -- are rare, the activity is pretty commonplace in that area of Colorado during the summer months.

“Fatalities are pretty unusual, but it’s (hot-air ballooning) definitely quite a normal occurrence in the Hartsel area … But yeah, this was a pretty unusual situation.”

Bettey Wieser, who taught earth science for 25 years at CMS until retiring in 2000, spent a lot of time with Haskell. They went to volleyball games together and even took short trips out of town, she said. Wieser described Haskell as a jokester and someone who genuinely enjoyed whatever she set her mind to doing.

“I wouldn’t even know where to start, so I’ll leave it at that,” Wieser said when asked what her fondest memories of Haskell are. “She was just a great person.”

Original article can be found here ➤ https://columbustelegram.com

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