Sunday, August 07, 2022

ARBC Lindstrand 150A, N316EB: Incident occurred July 30, 2022 in Indianola, Warren County, Iowa

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Des Moines, Iowa

Balloon struck a powerline after takeoff.  

Date: 30-JUL-22
Time: 10:25:00Z
Regis#: N316EB
Aircraft Make: ARBC
Aircraft Model: 150A
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: MINOR
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: MINOR
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
State: IOWA

Rich and Irene Wheeldon were involved in a hot air balloon accident on July 30, 2022 in Indianola, Iowa, in the pre-dawn flight. The basket caught fire and both sustained injuries from the fire. They were both transported via ambulance to Iowa Methodist Medical Center, from there Irene was life flighted to the University of Iowa burn unit and Rich was driven by ground ambulance to the same place.

Irene sustained burns to her scalp, face, arms, hands, and knees. Rich has burns on his back of his head, neck, arms, hands and most of his back.

Like their injuries, their medical expenses will be extensive as treatment will be ongoing for several months and this will help offset some of those costs.

Hi, my name is Tiffany Wheeldon and I am hoping to help offset hospital and future treatment expenses for Tim Cloyd, the balloon pilot from a hot air balloon accident on July 30, 2022 in Indianola, Iowa. The basket caught fire and the pilot and 3 others sustained injuries.

Tim received burns to his head, neck, arms, hands, back and legs. He was transported to Iowa Methodist Medical Center for initial evaluation and then taken to the University of Iowa Hospital's burn unit for ongoing treatment.

We would be grateful for your donation in this difficult time as we are just starting the road to recovery.

INDIANOLA, Iowa — A hot air balloon accidently struck a powerline during a pre-dawn flight Saturday morning at the National Balloon Classic, leaving a pilot and three people injured. 

According to the executive director of the event, once the balloon hit the transmission line the pilot in command immediately landed the balloon and all four people who were in the basket were evaluated by medical staff. Their injuries were not life-threatening. 

Two of the people in the basket at the time of this accident were a husband and wife couple. Their son tells Local 5 News the pair, along with the pilot, are recovering from serious burns. All three of them were taken to the University of Iowa Hospital's Burn Unit. 

A GoFundMe for the couple can be found here. A GoFundMe for the pilot can be found here.

The fourth passenger had minor burns, but was able to walk away and is recovering at home.

INDIANOLA, Iowa —  The FAA is currently investigating a balloon accident at the Indianola National Balloon Classic. A balloon hit a powerline early Saturday, during dawn patrol, where balloons take off before sunrise.

A witness tells KCCI that he was in his living room at about 5 a.m. Saturday when he heard a boom and saw the sky light up in front of his house. He rushed outside.

"It lit up the whole living room. The arcing from the electricity," Indianola resident Nathan Naberhaus said.

Naberhaus says his first thought was a hot air balloon hit a powerline in front of his house. What he saw when he went outside confirmed his fears when he saw flames around the basket.

"I went out there to help them. To see if they needed any help. I was worried about them hitting the powerline and severing the basket from the envelope," Naberhaus said.

He says he heard frantic conversation coming from the basket of the hot air balloon that was carrying the pilot and three passengers.

Passengers Rich Wheeldon and Irene Wheeldon and pilot Tim Cloyd are being treated at the burn unit at the University of Iowa Hospitals. There was a fourth person inside the basket of the balloon that hit the powerline. The National Balloon Classic tells KCCI that that person was not hospitalized.

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