Aviation safety investigations & reports

Emergency landing - Kavanagh Balloons, E-210, VH-OTZ, 7 km east Northam, WA, 2 April 2011

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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During a scenic charter flight and while operating at low level, the pilot of a Kavanagh Balloons Eā€‘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 60Ā 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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Alternate: [Download  DOC: 1.95MB]


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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 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  
Last update 14 November 2018