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During a scenic charter flight and while operating at low level, the pilot of a Kavanagh Balloons E‑210 hot-air balloon, registered VH-OTZ, was unable to arrest the balloon's descent and initiate a climb in time to avoid powerlines, requiring an emergency descent and landing. The balloon landed hard in a paddock with the basket not orientated correctly to the direction of flight. It bounced, dragged and inverted along a distance of 60 m, resulting in injuries to the occupants and minor damage to the basket.

The investigation identified a minor safety issue, in that the procedural and guidance framework for commercial balloon operations generally did not provide a high level of assurance in regard to the safe conduct of low flying. Action by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority will, once in place, adequately address that safety issue. In addition, the operator of the balloon revised the content of its operations manual.

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Safety issue

AO-2011-045-SI-01 -  

Commercial balloon procedural and guidance framework

The procedural and guidance framework for commercial balloon operations generally, did not provide a high level of assurance in regard to the safe conduct of low flying.
Safety issue details
Issue number:AO-2011-045-SI-01
Who it affects:
Status:Adequately addressed

 
General details
Date: 02 April 2011 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 0706 WST  
Location   (show map):7 km east of Northam Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Western Australia Occurrence type: Hard landing 
Release date: 21 November 2011 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Serious 
 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Kavanagh Balloons 
Aircraft model: E 
Aircraft registration: VH-OTZ 
Serial number: E210-407 
Type of operation: Ballooning 
Damage to aircraft: Minor 
Departure point:Avon Valley, WA
 
 
 
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Last update 01 March 2016