Aviation occurrence briefs

Collision with terrain involving a Kavanagh E-240 balloon, Chadstone, Victoria, on 22 September 2019

Status: Completed
Investigation completed


Occurrence Briefs are concise reports that detail the facts surrounding a transport safety occurrence, as received in the initial notification and any follow-up enquiries. They provide an opportunity to share safety messages in the absence of an investigation.

What happened

On 22 September at about 0700 Eastern Standard Time, a Kavanagh E-240 balloon was operating a charter flight over Melbourne, Victoria with a pilot and 10 passengers on board.

While landing at a reserve, the pilot deployed the handling line to ground crew. The pilot then determined that the balloon was unable to land in the available space and instructed the ground crew to let go of the handling line in order to manoeuvre to a different landing site.

The balloon continued the descent and the basket subsequently made contact with the roof of a house. The balloon then landed in the original landing site with the assistance of the ground crew utilising the handling line, which was still attached to the basket. The pilot and passengers were uninjured.

Pilot comments

The pilot stated that the main contributing factor to the occurrence was the use of the handling line in an attempt to guide the balloon into the landing site. Although this is common practice, during this particular landing the pilot ran out of sufficient space in the landing site.

About this report

Decisions regarding whether to conduct an investigation, and the scope of an investigation, are based on many factors, including the level of safety benefit likely to be obtained from an investigation. For this occurrence, no investigation has been conducted and the ATSB did not verify the accuracy of the information. A brief description has been written using information supplied in the notification and any follow-up information in order to produce a short summary report, and allow for greater industry awareness of potential safety issues and possible safety actions.

General details
Date: 22 September 2019   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 0700 EST    
Location   (show map): 11 km N of Moorabbin, Victoria    
State: Victoria    
Release Date: 31 October 2019   Occurrence category: Serious Incident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Kavanagh Balloons  
Aircraft model E-240  
Type of operation Charter  
Sector Balloon  
Damage to aircraft Nil  
Last update 31 October 2019