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N5315M accident description

New Mexico map... New Mexico list
Crash location 35.216667°N, 107.250000°W
Reported location is a long distance from the NTSB's reported nearest city. This often means that the location has a typo, or is incorrect.
Nearest city Albuquerque, NM
35.084491°N, 106.651137°W
35.0 miles away
Tail number N5315M
Accident date 09 Oct 2007
Aircraft type Aerostar RX 8
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On October 9, 2007, approximately 0920 mountain daylight time, an Aerostar RX 8, N5315M, registered to and operated by the pilot, was substantially damaged when it struck an arroyo while landing at Albuquerque, New Mexico. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The personal flight was being conducted under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91 without a flight plan. The pilot was seriously injured, but her two passengers escaped injury. The local flight originated approximately 0800 from Albuquerque.

The balloon was participating in the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. According to the pilot's accident report, the balloon flew between 200 and 400 feet agl (above ground level) for the first 15 minutes, then flew between 1,000 and 1,500 feet for about an hour. She said low level winds were from the south, and she flew "far enough north to have open landing areas to the south." She then descended to 200 feet and flew south. The wind speed was between 5 and 10 knots. She selected a "short open area" north of the Rio Rancho High School, but there was a fence and the winds were "too fast" to land. "At 100 feet agl, had false heavy" (sic) and wind velocity had increased 15 to 20 knots. The balloon landed on the north side of 100 acres of desert. bounced, and was dragged 150 to 200 feet. The pilot noted that "at the time of launch, the winds were calm but that condition changed unexpectedly. I took the best landing site available at the time." Beyond that point was a congested housing area and the West Mesa and Petroglyh National Park. The latter had an uneven lava bed with ravines, trees, and boulders and probably high wind velocities.

According to the Albuquerque Police Department report, the pilot said the balloon had flown south, then west. On approach to the selected landing spot near Loma Vista Road, a gust of wind caused the balloon to drift in the wrong direction and it struck a wall in a residential area. The report indicated the pilot had fractured her pelvic bone.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's inability to maintain aircraft control due to high winds, resulting in the aircraft coming in contact with an arroyo and a wall in a residential area.

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