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C-GGAX accident description

Maine map... Maine list
Crash location 44.048333°N, 70.283333°W
Nearest city Auburn, ME
44.097851°N, 70.231166°W
4.3 miles away
Tail number C-GGAX
Accident date 14 Oct 2004
Aircraft type Raven Industries S-60A
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On October 14, 2004, at 1755 eastern daylight time, a Raven Industries, Inc. S-60A balloon, Canadian registry C-GGAX, was not damaged when it contacted a tree near Auburn, Maine. The certificated commercial pilot and passengers were not injured, and one passenger received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed for the 14 CFR Part 91 sightseeing flight.

According to the pilot, during the descent the balloon encountered a downdraft. He activated the burners in order to ascend the balloon, and overshot the intended landing area. He then attempted to decelerate the balloon by brushing the basket through an apple tree. A branch from the tree came in contact with one of the passenger's hands, cutting it.

Initial reports indicated that the passenger had sustained a serious injury during the accident. It was later learned that the injuries were minor, and the accident was subsequently downgraded to an incident.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's maneuver into a tree, which resulted in an inadvertent contact between a branch and a passenger.

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