The Civil Aviation Safety Authority advised the ATSB of their intention to produce an advisory circular addressing the safety issue in the following response:
... This AC [Advisory Circular] will include guidance on deflation of hot air balloon envelopes using vehicle assistance.
The information will include that:
1) The operator and PIC should have a system to ensure communications are maintained at all times between the pilot, other ground crew persons, and the driver of the vehicle.
2) Passengers should either have disembarked or have adopted the landing position before the deflation procedure begins.
3) Pilots should be aware of the need to control the rate of deflation in relation to the force applied to the crown rope
4) Operator’s operations manuals should document the standard operating procedure for deflating the balloon with or without vehicle assistance.
The ATSB agrees that the proposed advisory circular would, when published and disseminated, allow commercial balloon operators to take effective action to reduce the risks associated with vehicle‑assisted deflation practices. The ATSB will continue to monitor this safety action.