The maximum number of passengers that the balloon operator allowed to be carried meant that there was insufficient room in the basket for them to adopt the landing position specified in the operator's procedures to reduce the risk of injury.
The ATSB is satisfied that the safety action undertaken by the operator has resolved this safety issue.
In July 2022, Picture This Ballooning (PTB) released an internal Operational Notice (ON) to all relevant staff advising that the maximum number of passengers for VH-BSW had been reduced from 17 to 12 adult passengers. Additional passengers may be allowed on a case by case basis subject to approval by the Chief Pilot depending on their size and body weight. The ON stated that pilots in command must ensure that all passengers can achieve the required backwards facing landing position.
The ON also re-iterated the content of the PTB Operation's Manual about the positioning of passengers in the basket and that a physical demonstration of the landing position by the passengers must be conducted before take-off on each flight.
The operator further advised that the maximum passenger capacities on all of its balloons was being reviewed.