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N699WH accident description

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Tail numberN699WH
Accident dateMay 18, 2005
Aircraft typeAerostar International Inc. S53A
LocationShreveport, LA
Near 32.446389 N, -93.825556 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description

On May 18, 2005, approximately 1910 central daylight time, an Aerostar S53A hot-air balloon, N699WH, was substantially damaged when it collided with power lines during cruise flight near Shreveport, Louisiana. The commercial pilot and passenger were fatally injured. The balloon was registered to and operated by the pilot. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The local flight originated from a staging area at Bluebird Hill Airport (5F5) near Keithville, Louisiana, at 1835.

According to information gathered by an Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, who responded to the accident site, the balloon was flying over a residential area when it struck electrical power lines, approximately 60 feet above ground level (agl). Subsequently, the balloon was observed by witnesses ascending to an altitude of approximately 2,000 feet, with the basket of the balloon engulfed in flames. The balloon drifted for approximately two miles before gradually descending and coming to rest in a church parking lot.

Examination of the balloon by the FAA inspector revealed that the basket was destroyed by fire, and the skirt of the balloon envelope was burnt. Debris from the balloon was found scattered between the point of initial contact with the power lines to the where the balloon came to rest.

(c) 2009-2011 Lee C. Baker. For informational purposes only.