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N808SP accident description

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Crash location 35.037222°N, 106.605556°W
Nearest city Albuquerque, NM
35.084491°N, 106.651137°W
4.2 miles away
Tail number N808SP
Accident date 07 Oct 2008
Aircraft type Cameron Balloons Us A-105
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

The commercial rated balloon pilot obtained a weather briefing prior to his departure as a participant in an international balloon festival. The weather briefing provided by festival officials included calm winds at the surface and a wind speed of 13 miles per hour aloft. The pilot and his passengers (his grandparents) departed and flew approximately five miles from their launch site at an altitude of 1,800 feet above ground level before they reached their destnation. The pilot reported that at the time they landed the winds were "gusty" on the surface and the balloon was moving approximately two miles per hour when the basket touched down on the ground. The balloon's basket dragged approximately 60 feet along the surface, became airborne again for approximately 150 feet, and then landed and came to a full stop. The pilot reported that his grandfather sustained a broken leg when the basket first contacted the ground. A Federal Aviation Administration inspector, who was working at the festival, reported that there were occassional wind gusts on the day of the accident, but the weather was mostly clear with calm winds.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's failure to maintain control of the balloon during landing. Contributing to the accident were the wind gusts.

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