Saturday, August 22, 2020

Hard Landing: Lindstrand 180A, N3013T; accident occurred December 16, 2019 in Davenport, Polk County, Florida

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Orlando, Florida

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Davenport, FL
Accident Number: ERA20CA138
Date & Time: 12/16/2019, 0815 EST
Aircraft: Lindstrand 180A
Aircraft Damage:None
Defining Event: Hard landing
Injuries: 1 Serious, 5 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Business - Sightseeing

The pilot of the balloon reported that, while flying level, in preparation for landing, he brushed the basket in the top of a tree to slow the forward speed. After slowing, he conducted a standup landing with no basket tip over. After securing the balloon, one of the passengers reported that her foot was injured.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the balloon that would have precluded normal operation.

The injured passenger reported that, prior to landing, the pilot announced they were coming in too fast for landing, and he was going to hit the treetops too slow them down. He instructed the passengers to assume the landing position. She then felt a "hard whiplash-like impact" and heard the snapping of tree branches. Upon landing, she experienced pain in both ankles and was unable to immediately egress from the basket. She later egressed with assistance. She declined immediate medical attention offered by the pilot at the scene, and again during the drive back to the operator's base. She elected to seek medical attention later that day and was initially diagnosed with a "bad sprain", of her left ankle. However, a follow up visit with a doctor later identified fractures in both of her ankles.

Another passenger reported that, while not familiar with balloon landings, the landing "seemed hard and was a shock". He further stated that, they had not been previously briefed that such a shock may occur during landing.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 65, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied:
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Airship; Balloon
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam:08/15/2019
Occupational Pilot:Yes
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 03/03/2019
Flight Time: (Estimated) 20637 hours (Total, all aircraft), 20 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Lindstrand
Registration: N3013T
Model/Series: 180A No Series
Aircraft Category: Balloon
Year of Manufacture:
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Balloon
Serial Number: 5453
Landing Gear Type:None
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 09/16/2019, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection:
Airframe Total Time: 339 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer:
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series:
Registered Owner: Balloons Over The Rainbow Inc
Rated Power:
Operator: Orlando 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: GIF, 146 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 12 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 0853 EST
Direction from Accident Site:170°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility: 10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling:None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 7 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 110°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.19 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 20°C / 16°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Davenport, FL
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Davenport, FL
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0715 EST
Type of Airspace: Class G

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: None
Passenger Injuries: 1 Serious, 4 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries:N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious, 5 None
Latitude, Longitude: 28.255000, -81.791944 (est)


  1. A person who is medically knowledgeable might have the foresight to watch a video to see if the range of landing impacts are okay for your pre-existing injury history. Or ask the ride company if you should risk it or not. Or go get xray/mri right away, not after a couple of days.

    Here is one example landing:

  2. How is it classified as a serious injury?