Aviation safety investigations & reports

Hard landing involving Kavanagh Balloons B-350 VH-BSW 4 km north-north-east of Lilydale Airport, Victoria on 31 December 2021

Investigation number:
Status: Active
Investigation in progress


The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is investigating a hard landing involving Kavanagh Balloons B-350, registered VH-BSW, that occurred 4 km north-north-east of Lilydale Airport, Victoria on 31 December 2021.

While landing in windy conditions, the balloon initially touched down in a field before the pilot decided to manoeuvre the balloon over the fences of adjacent fields to land. While landing, the balloon’s basket was dragged about 30 metres before coming to rest, resulting in serious injuries to two of the 16 passengers on board.

As part of the investigation, ATSB investigators will examine weather data, operator procedures, and interview the pilot and relevant witnesses.

A final report will be released at the conclusion of the investigation. However, should a critical safety issue be identified during the course of the investigation, the ATSB will immediately notify relevant parties so appropriate safety action can be taken.

General details
Date: 31 December 2021   Investigation status: Active  
Time: 0650 AEST   Investigation level: Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels  
Location   (show map): 4 km north-north-east of Lilydale Airport   Investigation phase: Evidence collection  
State: Victoria   Occurrence type: Hard landing  
  Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Pending   Highest injury level: Serious  
Anticipated completion: 3rd Quarter 2022    

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Kavanagh Balloons  
Aircraft model B-350  
Aircraft registration VH-BSW  
Serial number B350-399  
Type of operation Ballooning  
Sector Balloon  
Damage to aircraft Unknown  
Departure point Glenburn  
Destination Yarra Valley  
Last update 05 January 2022