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The balloon operator had arranged a familiarisation flight for visiting travel agents. After some low and higher level demonstrations, the pilot descended the balloon to drift at treetop level above the Todd riverbed. As he was aware of powerlines in the vicinity he elected to land on a clearing just ahead. The pilot activated the rip panel which resulted in a high descent rate and very hard landing. The pilot became committed to the landing on unsuitable terrain after choosing to descend too early. The pilot of another balloon, that had been operating in company with this balloon, had delayed his descent a short time and made a successful landing on an open area. This accident was not the subject of an on-site investigation.

Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 23 August 1987 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 710  
Location:5 km S of Alice Springs Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Northern Territory Occurrence type: Hard landing 
Release date: 11 September 1987 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-WMS 
Serial number: 994 
Type of operation: Ballooning 
Damage to aircraft: Nil 
Departure point:Alice Springs NT
Departure time:0710
Destination:Alice Springs NT
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