Friday, September 13, 2019

Kubicek BB60Z, N505CZ: Accident occurred September 12, 2019 in Goodsprings, Clark County, Nevada

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Las Vegas

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Good Springs, NV
Accident Number: WPR19LA257
Date & Time: 09/12/2019, 0930 PDT
Registration: N505CZ
Aircraft: Kubicek BB60
Injuries: 3 Serious, 6 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Aerial Observation - Sightseeing 

On September 12, 2019, about 0930 Pacific daylight time, a Kubicek BB60, N505CZ, ejected all occupants from the basket during a hard landing near Good Springs, Nevada. A private individual owned the balloon and Vegas Hot Air Sin City Balloon Rides was operating the balloon under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The commercial pilot and two passengers sustained serious injuries; the remaining six passengers sustained minor injuries. The balloon sustained substantial damage to the envelope. The local area sightseeing flight departed from a parking lot in Las Vegas about 0750. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan had not been filed.

The pilot stated that after about an hour into the flight he planned to touch down near a water basin. As the balloon was about 0.5 miles away, the wind changed and the balloon's direction shifted south toward inhospitable terrain for landing. The pilot ascended in an attempt to find wind in a different direction. The balloon continued over a ridge and he aligned the balloon to land on a dirt road and began the descent. As he neared the surface, the wind increased, and he briefed the passengers of a potential high-wind landing. He pulled the vent line and the balloon did not deflate as he expected. The balloon landed hard and he was ejected out of the basket.

A Federal Aviation Administration inspector stated that after landing hard the pilot and five occupants were ejected out of the basket. Thereafter, the balloon continued flying at a low level about 0.5 miles and the remaining four passengers were ejected. The balloon came to rest on a hillside in remote desert terrain located approximately 17 miles southwest of Las Vegas, near Good Springs.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Kubicek
Registration: N505CZ
Model/Series: BB60 Z
Aircraft Category: Balloon
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Vegas Hot Air Sin City Balloon Rides
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Dawn
Observation Facility, Elevation: KHND, 2458 ft msl
Observation Time: 0756 PDT
Distance from Accident Site: 15 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 24°C / 1°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm / ,
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 27.9 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Las Vegas, NV
Destination: Las Vegas, NV 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 2 Serious, 6 Minor
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 3 Serious

Nine people were injured Thursday morning when a hot air balloon made a hard landing in a desert area near Goodsprings, southwest of Las Vegas.

Metropolitan Police Department Sgt. Jeff Dean said the hot air balloon crashed about 9:25 a.m. in a desert area just off Cottonwood Pass Trail, about three miles north of Goodsprings and approximately 40 miles from Las Vegas.

When the balloon’s basket hit the ground, it tipped over and several passengers were ejected, Dean said.

One woman was transported by helicopter to a local hospital with serious injuries, but was expected to survive.

Dean said the other eight passengers suffered minor injuries and were transported to local hospitals by ambulance.

At 11 a.m., emergency vehicles crowded along Goodsprings Bypass Road. Medical personnel loaded one person on a stretcher into a waiting ambulance as another pulled away.

Just before noon, two vehicles from Las Vegas Hot Air Sin City Balloon Rides pulled up and a group of people in matching shirts walked into the desert. They declined to speak to reporters.

A phone call to the company went unanswered.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating, Dean said. He said it was unclear why the balloon made a hard landing.

The National Weather Service clocked winds at Mountain Springs Peak, to the north of the crash site, at between 7 and 15 mph at 8 a.m., and said surface winds in Jean were increasing at the time, starting at about 5 mph at 8 a.m. and reaching 15 mph by about 10 a.m.

Las Vegas police, Clark County firefighters and the Nevada Highway Patrol also responded to the scene.

Original article can be found here ➤

3:30 P.M. UPDATE September 12th: Officials are now saying that 9 people were on the hot air balloon went it attempted to land. According to the FAA, the pilot was thrown from the gondola during the landing and it took about half a mile to come to a complete stop.

It was reported earlier that the balloon had crashed. The Federal Aviation Administration is now saying that it was a "hard landing." 

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the accident.


GOODSPRINGS (KTNV) -- Several agencies have responded to a hot air balloon crash in the Nevada desert near Goodsprings.

Chopper 13 was able to find the site of the crash in the desert just north of Goodsprings off of Route 161.

Clark County Fire Department responded to the crash at approximately 9:25 a.m. They were joined by Las Vegas police, Nevada Highway Patrol and Bureau of Land Management.

Several ambulances and Mercy Air also responded to the scene and ambulances have been seen leaving with patients.

Clark County Fire Department confirmed that 7 people have been transported to UMC Trauma. One of those people, a woman, was airlifted.

At this time, there is no confirmed information on number of people involved, how many people injured or why the balloon crashed.

The Federal Aviation Administration will be investigating the crash.

Story and video ➤

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