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N3106K accident description

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Crash location 47.945555°N, 92.624445°W
Nearest city Cook, MN
47.852418°N, 92.689618°W
7.1 miles away
Tail number N3106K
Accident date 31 Jul 2008
Aircraft type Head Balloons, Inc. AX9-118
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

After a 15-20 minute balloon flight, the pilot began to look for a suitable landing area. The selected landing area was a road within a heavily wooded area. The pilot said that he did not see the power transmission lines that were hidden in the tree line alongside the road. During the landing, the surface winds blew the balloon envelope "in close proximity to the wires." According to the pilot, about five minutes after landing the balloon envelope lost enough hot air that it deflated on lines and caught on fire. An eyewitness reported seeing the balloon flying low over the forested area and then very thick black smoke. The pilot told local law enforcement that the balloon envelope contacted the power transmission lines before the basket touched-down. The law enforcement accident report stated that there was a "small showering of sparks and a very small flame" when the balloon envelope came in contact with the power lines. The balloon envelope was destroyed by the ensuing fire.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's decision to land in a confined area. Contributing to the accident were the hidden power transmission lines and the confined landing site.

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