|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : vnw|
|Altitude||agl bound lower : 0|
agl bound upper : 150
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Any Unknown or Unlisted Aircraft Manufacturer|
|Flight Phase||ground : holding|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : commercial|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 60|
flight time total : 200
flight time type : 47
|Anomaly||inflight encounter : weather|
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||flight crew : regained aircraft control|
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
I briefed my passenger for a complete flight and lndgs (possibly), but I informed them that we would not be taking off or flying. I briefed my crew of 6 large men the same, and informed them we would be holding the balloon down to the ground. Winds were very calm and inflation went well. We sat upright for 10 mins while loading passenger. I realized I was blocking the view of another balloon, so we disconnected the inflation harness safety tie-off. We moved the balloon to a nice clear area 40' to the west. The crowd was really enjoying the art work on our balloon as we rotated before them. I then heated up the balloon to lift 6' off the ground and specifically looked at all 6 men individually to inform them we were not lifting off and to hold on. During the maneuver I noticed that a couple of balloons had deflated and the race organizer approached to tell us to deflate also. Winds had been very balmy, but as I started to cool off the balloon to descend, we all started moving north. The crowd dispersed quickly to give us room, but the men could not control the balloon. As we approached a van, the men all let go and we took off. No one was injured at all, and the van had a little scratch in the roof. This was the start of a most interesting and somewhat scary flight. We were going up very fast as the result of the extra heat in the balloon and plus false lift. I thought I could vent hard and land on the other side of the van, which would have been possible if the wind was 6-8 KTS like I thought. Instead it was about 15 KTS. I rose to about 150' and started descending rapidly as the result of hard vent and losing the false lift. I realized then the speed of which I had attained would not allow a landing there. At that point I needed to burn hard with both burners. The lower part of balloon was caved in, so the result was a 4' X 4' hold in the lowest part of the balloon, just above the nomex skirt. As our flight continued we circled around the grandstand at 15 KTS at about 200' AGL. We seemed to slow down, so I vented to descend for a landing in the more vacant end of the field. I again had to burn hard as we continued to circle around the field, now toward power lines. After circling the field this second time, I held a 200-300' altitude to find the first landing spot available. I briefed the passenger again on this unexpected landing. They were enjoying themselves and did very well on the flight, probably because I had not become visually shaken. We ended up leveled out nicely over a stubble field and I executed a nice high wind land at 12-15 KTS.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: CONTROL OF HOT AIR BALLOON IS LOST IN HIGH WINDS. BALLOON AND AUTOMOBILE ARE DAMAGED.
Narrative: I BRIEFED MY PAX FOR A COMPLETE FLT AND LNDGS (POSSIBLY), BUT I INFORMED THEM THAT WE WOULD NOT BE TAKING OFF OR FLYING. I BRIEFED MY CREW OF 6 LARGE MEN THE SAME, AND INFORMED THEM WE WOULD BE HOLDING THE BALLOON DOWN TO THE GND. WINDS WERE VERY CALM AND INFLATION WENT WELL. WE SAT UPRIGHT FOR 10 MINS WHILE LOADING PAX. I REALIZED I WAS BLOCKING THE VIEW OF ANOTHER BALLOON, SO WE DISCONNECTED THE INFLATION HARNESS SAFETY TIE-OFF. WE MOVED THE BALLOON TO A NICE CLEAR AREA 40' TO THE W. THE CROWD WAS REALLY ENJOYING THE ART WORK ON OUR BALLOON AS WE ROTATED BEFORE THEM. I THEN HEATED UP THE BALLOON TO LIFT 6' OFF THE GND AND SPECIFICALLY LOOKED AT ALL 6 MEN INDIVIDUALLY TO INFORM THEM WE WERE NOT LIFTING OFF AND TO HOLD ON. DURING THE MANEUVER I NOTICED THAT A COUPLE OF BALLOONS HAD DEFLATED AND THE RACE ORGANIZER APCHED TO TELL US TO DEFLATE ALSO. WINDS HAD BEEN VERY BALMY, BUT AS I STARTED TO COOL OFF THE BALLOON TO DSND, WE ALL STARTED MOVING N. THE CROWD DISPERSED QUICKLY TO GIVE US ROOM, BUT THE MEN COULD NOT CONTROL THE BALLOON. AS WE APCHED A VAN, THE MEN ALL LET GO AND WE TOOK OFF. NO ONE WAS INJURED AT ALL, AND THE VAN HAD A LITTLE SCRATCH IN THE ROOF. THIS WAS THE START OF A MOST INTERESTING AND SOMEWHAT SCARY FLT. WE WERE GOING UP VERY FAST AS THE RESULT OF THE EXTRA HEAT IN THE BALLOON AND PLUS FALSE LIFT. I THOUGHT I COULD VENT HARD AND LAND ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE VAN, WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN POSSIBLE IF THE WIND WAS 6-8 KTS LIKE I THOUGHT. INSTEAD IT WAS ABOUT 15 KTS. I ROSE TO ABOUT 150' AND STARTED DSNDING RAPIDLY AS THE RESULT OF HARD VENT AND LOSING THE FALSE LIFT. I REALIZED THEN THE SPD OF WHICH I HAD ATTAINED WOULD NOT ALLOW A LNDG THERE. AT THAT POINT I NEEDED TO BURN HARD WITH BOTH BURNERS. THE LOWER PART OF BALLOON WAS CAVED IN, SO THE RESULT WAS A 4' X 4' HOLD IN THE LOWEST PART OF THE BALLOON, JUST ABOVE THE NOMEX SKIRT. AS OUR FLT CONTINUED WE CIRCLED AROUND THE GRANDSTAND AT 15 KTS AT ABOUT 200' AGL. WE SEEMED TO SLOW DOWN, SO I VENTED TO DSND FOR A LNDG IN THE MORE VACANT END OF THE FIELD. I AGAIN HAD TO BURN HARD AS WE CONTINUED TO CIRCLE AROUND THE FIELD, NOW TOWARD POWER LINES. AFTER CIRCLING THE FIELD THIS SECOND TIME, I HELD A 200-300' ALT TO FIND THE FIRST LNDG SPOT AVAILABLE. I BRIEFED THE PAX AGAIN ON THIS UNEXPECTED LNDG. THEY WERE ENJOYING THEMSELVES AND DID VERY WELL ON THE FLT, PROBABLY BECAUSE I HAD NOT BECOME VISUALLY SHAKEN. WE ENDED UP LEVELED OUT NICELY OVER A STUBBLE FIELD AND I EXECUTED A NICE HIGH WIND LAND AT 12-15 KTS.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of August 2007 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.