Aviation safety investigations & reports

Colt 240A, VH-WMS, 5 km S of Alice Springs NT, 23 August 1987

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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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    
State: Northern Territory   Occurrence type: Hard landing  
Release date: 11 September 1987   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Serious  

Aircraft details

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