Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Hard Landing: Lindstrand Balloons 77A, N370LB; accident occurred September 02, 2018 in Brookfield, Linn County, Missouri

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Kansas City, Missouri

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

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


Location: Brookfield, MO
Accident Number: CEN18LA364
Date & Time: 09/02/2018, 0835 CDT
Registration: N370LB
Aircraft: Lindstrand 77A
Aircraft Damage: None
Defining Event: Hard landing
Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Air Race/Show 

On September 2, 2018, at 0835 central daylight time, a Lindstrand Balloons 77A, N370LB, experienced a hard landing in a field during the Great Pershing Balloon Derby, Brookfield Missouri. The commercial pilot was ejected from the balloon basket and was uninjured. The passenger sustained serious injuries. The balloon was undamaged. The balloon was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 and was not operating on a flight plan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The local flight originated 0751.

The pilot stated that he obtained a weather briefing from the Great Pershing Balloon Derby event staff before the flight. The reported and forecast winds in the area were less than 10 knots, and the reported and forecast winds "a couple of 100 feet above ground level" were 10-20 knots with no increase of surface winds. He and several other pilots at the launch site launched pibals to confirm the wind conditions.

After departure, the pilot flew to target locations and began navigating to find a good landing site. The other balloons had landed when he started to notice an increase in wind shear. He attempted an approach to a landing at a site but aborted the landing due to a fence line and his concerns about landing on private property. He continued flying across a tree line and bean field at which point the passenger told him that the balloon's speed was 10 miles per hour (mph), based upon information from the passenger's cellular phone. The pilot said he again encountered wind shear and climbed the balloon to a "safe" altitude. He said that the next suitable field for landing was ahead. He descended the balloon through wind shear over a crop field, and the passenger said the cellular phone now indicated the balloon's speed as 17 mph. He said that he re-briefed hard landing procedures to the passenger in preparation for a landing on an approaching field, which had powerlines along a road on the upwind side of the field. He climbed the balloon to about 40 feet above ground level (agl) to clear the powerlines and then began a descent to the field, which had a "slight" downslope, following by a "small" ditch, and then an upslope. In preparation for a hard landing, he turned off the fuel and pilot lights. About 10 feet agl, he pulled the deflation port line (commonly called rip line and is colored red) and braced for impact. The balloon impacted the ground on the downslope of the field, and the pilot was ejected from the front of the basket. He held onto the rip line for a "few" moments, as the balloon climbed with the passenger aboard, and yelled to the passenger to grab the rip line. The passenger grabbed the rip line, and the balloon entered a "rapid" descent from about tree top level in the field where it experienced a hard landing.

The pilot stated there was no mechanical malfunction/failure of the balloon.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 44, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: None
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Balloon
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: None
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 05/05/2018
Flight Time:  115 hours (Total, all aircraft), 113 hours (Total, this make and model), 103 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 5 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 3 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Lindstrand
Registration: N370LB
Model/Series: 77A No Series
Aircraft Category: Balloon
Year of Manufacture: 1996
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Balloon
Serial Number: 5005
Landing Gear Type: None
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 03/01/2018, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1367 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 0
Airframe Total Time: 227 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer:
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: 
Registered Owner: Pilot
Rated Power:
Operator: Pilot
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: CDJ, 783 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 26 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 0852 CDT
Direction from Accident Site: 270°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 8 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 190°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.03 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 26°C / 22°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Brookfield, MO
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Brookfield, MO
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time:  CDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: None
Passenger Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 None
Latitude, Longitude:  39.908056, -93.143889 (est)

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