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Following a 30 minute flight the pilot landed the balloon and the passengers waited in the basket for the retrieve vehicles to arrive to effect a passenger changeover. During this period a strong wind blew up, caught the balloon and dragged it towards trees. The pilot advised the passengers to adopt a crouch position and operated the burner to apply heat to raise the balloon. The balloon climbed steeply, cleared the trees then descended rapidly, bounced and the basket began oscillating about 30 degrees either side of vertical. The pilot was thrown out of the basket and 10 of the 11 passengers received injuries, although all remained in the basket. The balloon continued to be blown along the ground and one of the passengers climbed into the pilot's section of the basket and applied heat, this took the balloon aloft. The pilot chased the balloon and after one of the retrieve vehicles located him he was able to contact the balloon by radio and relay instructions on the use of the burner to the passenger. The balloon landed about 3.5 km from the position it had been waiting to changeover the passengers.

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[ Download PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 15 April 1986 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 705  
Location:48km west of Alice Springs Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Northern Territory Occurrence type: Collision with terrain 
Release date: 04 November 1986 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Serious 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Thunder & Colt Balloons 
Aircraft model: 240 
Aircraft registration: VH-NMS 
Type of operation: Ballooning 
Damage to aircraft: Minor 
Departure point:8km west of Jay Creek NT
Departure time:0705
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