Final Report

Summary

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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