The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has commenced a transport safety investigation into a collision with terrain involving a Kubicek Balloons BB78Z hot air balloon, registered VH-RJR, in Elwood, Victoria, on 20 April 2022.
On the morning of 20 April 2022, VH-RJR was being operated on a scenic passenger flight in company with five other balloons between Royal Park and Moorabbin Airport, Victoria, with a pilot and 12 passengers on board. During the flight, the pilot encountered a problem with one of the deflation systems, resulting in difficulties with maintaining altitude and the decision to attempt a landing at Elwood beach. The balloon subsequently descended into a residential area, striking trees before coming to rest outside a residential building. There were no reported injuries.
The evidence collection phase of the investigation will include interviewing the balloon’s pilot and passengers, as well as witnesses to the accident, analysing recorded evidence, examining the balloon envelope at an independent technical facility, and reviewing operator procedures and records.
A report will be published at the conclusion of the investigation. However, should any critical safety issues be identified at any stage during the course of the investigation, the ATSB will immediately notify relevant parties so appropriate safety action can be taken.
|Date:||20 April 2022||Investigation status:||Active|
|Time:||07:16 AUS Eastern Standard Time||Investigation level:||Short - click for an explanation of investigation levels|
|Location:||Elwood||Investigation phase:||Evidence collection|
|State:||Victoria||Occurrence type:||Collision with terrain|
|Release date:||21 April 2022||Occurrence category:||Serious Incident|
|Report status:||Pending||Highest injury level:||None|
|Anticipated completion:||4th Quarter 2022|
|Operator||Liberty Balloon Flights|
|Type of operation||Ballooning|
|Damage to aircraft||Minor|
|Departure point||Royal Park, Parkville, Victoria|