Monday, December 16, 2019

Head AX8-88B, N2224H: Accident occurred December 14, 2019 in Las Cruces, Doña Ana County, New Mexico

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Albuquerque, New Mexico 

NTSB Identification: WPR20CA050
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, December 14, 2019 in Las Cruces, NM
Aircraft: HEAD AX8 88B, registration: N2224H

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

Aircraft crashed under unknown circumstances into power lines.

Date: 14-DEC-19
Time: 15:53:00Z
Regis#: N2224H
Aircraft Make: HEAD
Aircraft Model: AX8 88B
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: MINOR
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
Operation: 91

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (KTSM) — A hot air balloon crash-landed in a Las Cruces schoolyard Saturday morning, causing panic through the neighborhood.

It happened at the corner of E. Picacho Ave. and N. Tornillo Street in the city’s Mesquite Historic District around 9 a.m. Saturday morning. The balloon crashed into the side of the East Las Cruces Learning Center as the pilot attempted to land in the school’s playground.

The balloon pilot, his wife, and friend, and two others were on board when the balloon experienced some sort of mechanical malfunction, according to a witness who contacted KTSM.

The balloon was owned and operated by Midnight Angel, Too. Walter Hawkins and his family have been operating the company since 1997 according to the company business cards. They are also members of the Greater Mesilla Valley Aerostat Ascension Association Hot Air Balloon Club.

The balloon struck at least one electrical wire on the crash landing descent. El Paso Electric is already responding to repair the fallen wire.

KTSM has reached out to the Las Cruces Police Department and is waiting to learn additional information. No one appears to have been seriously injured in the crash landing.

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