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On the morning of 16 July 2016, a Kavanagh Balloons E-300 hot-air balloon, registered VH-LPG, departed for a one-hour scenic flight from Irishtown, Western Australia. On board were the pilot and 16 passengers.

The balloon tracked in a south-easterly direction and after about 52 minutes of flight covering a distance of about 33 km, the pilot made an approach to a vacant paddock near York. The balloon made an initial ground contact with about 15 kt forward speed. When the balloon struck the ground, the pilot was ejected from the balloon basket. The basket was then dragged over the top of the pilot as the balloon envelope continued to deflate. The pilot was seriously injured and air lifted to the Royal Perth Hospital. One passenger received a minor injury and the balloon sustained minor damage.

As a result of this accident the balloon operator has introduced pilot restraint harnesses into all of their balloons.


Aviation Short Investigations Bulletin - Issue 53

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General details
Date: 16 July 2016 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 0752 WST  
Location   (show map):near York (ALA), SE 1 km (Bayly Road) Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Western Australia Occurrence type: Hard landing 
Release date: 14 October 2016 Occurrence class: Operational 
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Serious 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Kavanagh Balloons 
Aircraft model: E-300 
Aircraft registration: VH-LPG 
Serial number: E300-361 
Operator: Westwind Adventures 
Type of operation: Charter 
Sector: Balloon 
Damage to aircraft: Minor 
Departure point:Irishtown, WA
Destination:York, WA
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Last update 14 November 2018