Aviation Accident Summaries

Aviation Accident Summary ERA22LA129

Louisville, KY, USA

Aircraft #1




During a descent to perform contour flying for a practical test, the pilot applicant vented the balloon. When it began to level off too high, he vented it again and the balloon began a descent he described as “faster than (he) expected.” The designated pilot examiner (DPE) called for a burn and the pilot applicant “gave a short burn” with one burner. The DPE, recognizing that the burn was insufficient to arrest the balloon’s descent, called for another burn while simultaneously grabbing the other burner. The balloon started to ascend and when the DPE realized that the basket was going to strike a light pole, he removed his hand from the burner and called for the pilot applicant to do the same; however, the pilot applicant did not remove his hand from the burner. When the basket impacted the pole, the load tapes sustained burn and heat damage. The DPE assumed control and flew them to an uneventful landing. The pilot reported that there were no pre-accident mechanical malfunctions or anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

Probable Cause and Findings

The pilot applicant’s delayed reaction to the balloon's increased rate of descent, which resulted in impact with a light pole.


Source: NTSB Aviation Accident Database

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