|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||airport : rvs|
|Altitude||agl bound lower : 0|
agl bound upper : 0
|Controlling Facilities||tower : rvs|
tower : atl
|Make Model Name||Balloon|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 91|
|Flight Phase||descent : approach|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : commercial|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 19|
flight time total : 175
flight time type : 125
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Anomaly||conflict : ground critical|
inflight encounter : weather
inflight encounter other
non adherence : far
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
other other : unspecified cockpit
|Resolutory Action||none taken : anomaly accepted|
|Air Traffic Incident||other|
I called FSS at XA00 am for a standard brief and was told that WX was good in the tulsa area, winds were high and less than 7 KTS, but that there was thunderstorm activity in chanute, ks. FSS brief said that they expected nothing in the tulsa area for at least 3 hours. Myself and 6 other balloonists met at jones riverside airport at XB00 am and launched the wind was coming southeast, 140 degrees, and we were flying in the direction planned over familiar area with good landing sites. Approximately 1 hour into the flight, I was descending into an open area for landing. At about 500 ft AGL my direction of flight was reversed and wind speed increased significantly. It was immediately apparent that I was being propelled by a gust front. I returned to 500 ft AGL and began looking for a landing site in my new direction of flight. The balloon became unstable due to the wind speed and turbulence. As I was buffeted around, a downdraft took me down into the path of power lines. I activated the heater all the way down but was unable to arrest the descent. As I passed over the lines, my basket struck and broke the single top wire, the balloon immediately ascended. Within 1 mi a suitable landing site was available. I took a fast wind landing and the flight was terminated with no additional problems, light rain followed, one other balloon also did a high wind landing. The other 5 got down prior to the gust. We all saw no visible evidence of the approaching storm. An additional brief from FSS may have given additional information about how soon thunderstorm activity could arrive. I now feel that this would be a good idea. Looking for debris or slight wind change in the air for evidence of WX change. Possible visual inspection of cloud formations.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: A HOT AIR BALLOON HIT PWRLINES WHILE TRYING TO LAND IN A GUST FRONT.
Narrative: I CALLED FSS AT XA00 AM FOR A STANDARD BRIEF AND WAS TOLD THAT WX WAS GOOD IN THE TULSA AREA, WINDS WERE HIGH AND LESS THAN 7 KTS, BUT THAT THERE WAS TSTM ACTIVITY IN CHANUTE, KS. FSS BRIEF SAID THAT THEY EXPECTED NOTHING IN THE TULSA AREA FOR AT LEAST 3 HRS. MYSELF AND 6 OTHER BALLOONISTS MET AT JONES RIVERSIDE ARPT AT XB00 AM AND LAUNCHED THE WIND WAS COMING SE, 140 DEGS, AND WE WERE FLYING IN THE DIRECTION PLANNED OVER FAMILIAR AREA WITH GOOD LNDG SITES. APPROX 1 HR INTO THE FLT, I WAS DSNDING INTO AN OPEN AREA FOR LNDG. AT ABOUT 500 FT AGL MY DIRECTION OF FLT WAS REVERSED AND WIND SPD INCREASED SIGNIFICANTLY. IT WAS IMMEDIATELY APPARENT THAT I WAS BEING PROPELLED BY A GUST FRONT. I RETURNED TO 500 FT AGL AND BEGAN LOOKING FOR A LNDG SITE IN MY NEW DIRECTION OF FLT. THE BALLOON BECAME UNSTABLE DUE TO THE WIND SPD AND TURB. AS I WAS BUFFETED AROUND, A DOWNDRAFT TOOK ME DOWN INTO THE PATH OF PWR LINES. I ACTIVATED THE HEATER ALL THE WAY DOWN BUT WAS UNABLE TO ARREST THE DSCNT. AS I PASSED OVER THE LINES, MY BASKET STRUCK AND BROKE THE SINGLE TOP WIRE, THE BALLOON IMMEDIATELY ASCENDED. WITHIN 1 MI A SUITABLE LNDG SITE WAS AVAILABLE. I TOOK A FAST WIND LNDG AND THE FLT WAS TERMINATED WITH NO ADDITIONAL PROBS, LIGHT RAIN FOLLOWED, ONE OTHER BALLOON ALSO DID A HIGH WIND LNDG. THE OTHER 5 GOT DOWN PRIOR TO THE GUST. WE ALL SAW NO VISIBLE EVIDENCE OF THE APCHING STORM. AN ADDITIONAL BRIEF FROM FSS MAY HAVE GIVEN ADDITIONAL INFO ABOUT HOW SOON TSTM ACTIVITY COULD ARRIVE. I NOW FEEL THAT THIS WOULD BE A GOOD IDEA. LOOKING FOR DEBRIS OR SLIGHT WIND CHANGE IN THE AIR FOR EVIDENCE OF WX CHANGE. POSSIBLE VISUAL INSPECTION OF CLOUD FORMATIONS.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of July 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.