Friday, October 12, 2018

Balloon Works Firefly 7-15, registered to and operated by the pilot, N7252H: Accident occurred October 10, 2018 in Placitas, Sandoval County, New Mexico

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Albuquerque, New Mexico

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Placitas, NM
Accident Number: WPR19TA005
Date & Time: 10/10/2018, 0943 MDT
Registration: N7252H
Aircraft: Balloon Works FIREFLY 7
Injuries: 2 Serious, 1 None
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Air Race/Show 

On October 10, 2018, about 0943 mountain daylight time, a Balloon Works Firefly 7-15 balloon, N7252H, experienced a hard landing in a field about 4 miles west of Placitas, New Mexico. The private pilot was uninjured, however, the two passengers sustained serious injuries. The balloon was registered to and operated by the pilot, under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, as an airshow flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight that departed the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, Albuquerque, New Mexico, about 0851. The flight's destination was the landing area near where the accident occurred.

According to the pilot, as he descended and maneuvered the balloon to check the winds for landing, he inadvertently collided with a hill that was at a higher elevation than what he expected. The balloon contacted the terrain firmly and both passengers sustained a broken ankle. Subsequently, the pilot landed the balloon uneventfully with no apparent damage. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Balloon Works
Registration: N7252H
Model/Series: FIREFLY 7 15
Aircraft Category: Balloon
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: ABQ, 5355 ft msl
Observation Time: 1552 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 17 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 11°C / 2°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 5000 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 4 knots / , 170°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.05 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Albuquerque, NM
Destination: Placitas, NM 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: None
Passenger Injuries: 2 Serious
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Serious, 1 None
Latitude, Longitude:  35.307500, -106.491111 (est)

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