|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||airport : u59.airport|
|Altitude||agl single value : 40|
|Make Model Name||Balloon|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 119|
|Flight Phase||descent : approach|
|Route In Use||arrival : vfr|
|Affiliation||company : charter|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : commercial|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 13|
flight time total : 520
flight time type : 520
|Function||observation : passenger|
|Anomaly||conflict : ground critical|
inflight encounter : weather
non adherence : far
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
other other : 4 observer
Flight Crew Human Performance
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
I reported for a scheduled sightseeing flight commencing approximately 2 mi south of U59. Local surface winds, as reported by flight service at XA55, were calm to light. The forecasted winds aloft were reported as light and variable at 6000 ft and 9000 ft, and 4-5 DME at 12000 ft. Visual observation indicated that surface winds were from the ssw. I launched at approximately XB20, intending to fly for approximately 60 mins, following a typical flight pattern to the north. After approximately 60 mins of flight, a descent was initiated to align for landing approach. The surface wind direction was not as expected, the approach was aborted. An alternate landing area was reached after approximately 90 mins of total flight time. There were about 6 gallons of usable fuel remaining on board, and there was a large grove of trees beyond the intended landing site, so I rapidly descended and began a north/northwesterly landing approach. I landed on the shoulder of public access road without incident. Total flight time was 1.7 hours. There were 5.9 gallons of fuel remaining on board. During the landing descent, I flew between a home and an adjoining horse pasture. The altitude of my aircraft was approximately 40 ft AGL while crossing this property. Although the resident horses did not seem intimidated or upset at the sight of the balloon or the noise of the burner, the female resident of the home was irate, screaming at me and the other occupants of my aircraft. The female approached my aircraft while I was stabilizing it. Her aggressive demeanor was threatening and I radioed a fellow pilot for immediate assistance. The female reached my aircraft before the other pilot did and my passenger and I remained in the aircraft. She left the area without incident. Even though a common landing area was eventually reached and the flight terminated without incident, the flight path was not typical, either in direction or speed. This atypical flight pattern resulted in depleted fuel reserves, a forced landing at a place where there was no room for error without risk to my passenger and aircraft, and considerable stress. If flight service was able to more accurately report WX conditions at U59, flight decisions could be based on more than personal observations and we would be better prepared with regard to our flight decisions.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: PLT OF HOT AIR BALLOON UNABLE TO LAND AT PLANNED LNDG SITE ACCOUNT WINDS. LNDG AT ALTERNATE SITE CAUSED ALTERCATION WITH PROPERTY OWNER.
Narrative: I RPTED FOR A SCHEDULED SIGHTSEEING FLT COMMENCING APPROX 2 MI S OF U59. LCL SURFACE WINDS, AS RPTED BY FLT SVC AT XA55, WERE CALM TO LIGHT. THE FORECASTED WINDS ALOFT WERE RPTED AS LIGHT AND VARIABLE AT 6000 FT AND 9000 FT, AND 4-5 DME AT 12000 FT. VISUAL OBSERVATION INDICATED THAT SURFACE WINDS WERE FROM THE SSW. I LAUNCHED AT APPROX XB20, INTENDING TO FLY FOR APPROX 60 MINS, FOLLOWING A TYPICAL FLT PATTERN TO THE N. AFTER APPROX 60 MINS OF FLT, A DSCNT WAS INITIATED TO ALIGN FOR LNDG APCH. THE SURFACE WIND DIRECTION WAS NOT AS EXPECTED, THE APCH WAS ABORTED. AN ALTERNATE LNDG AREA WAS REACHED AFTER APPROX 90 MINS OF TOTAL FLT TIME. THERE WERE ABOUT 6 GALLONS OF USABLE FUEL REMAINING ON BOARD, AND THERE WAS A LARGE GROVE OF TREES BEYOND THE INTENDED LNDG SITE, SO I RAPIDLY DSNDED AND BEGAN A N/NORTHWESTERLY LNDG APCH. I LANDED ON THE SHOULDER OF PUBLIC ACCESS ROAD WITHOUT INCIDENT. TOTAL FLT TIME WAS 1.7 HRS. THERE WERE 5.9 GALLONS OF FUEL REMAINING ON BOARD. DURING THE LNDG DSCNT, I FLEW BTWN A HOME AND AN ADJOINING HORSE PASTURE. THE ALT OF MY ACFT WAS APPROX 40 FT AGL WHILE XING THIS PROPERTY. ALTHOUGH THE RESIDENT HORSES DID NOT SEEM INTIMIDATED OR UPSET AT THE SIGHT OF THE BALLOON OR THE NOISE OF THE BURNER, THE FEMALE RESIDENT OF THE HOME WAS IRATE, SCREAMING AT ME AND THE OTHER OCCUPANTS OF MY ACFT. THE FEMALE APCHED MY ACFT WHILE I WAS STABILIZING IT. HER AGGRESSIVE DEMEANOR WAS THREATENING AND I RADIOED A FELLOW PLT FOR IMMEDIATE ASSISTANCE. THE FEMALE REACHED MY ACFT BEFORE THE OTHER PLT DID AND MY PAX AND I REMAINED IN THE ACFT. SHE LEFT THE AREA WITHOUT INCIDENT. EVEN THOUGH A COMMON LNDG AREA WAS EVENTUALLY REACHED AND THE FLT TERMINATED WITHOUT INCIDENT, THE FLT PATH WAS NOT TYPICAL, EITHER IN DIRECTION OR SPD. THIS ATYPICAL FLT PATTERN RESULTED IN DEPLETED FUEL RESERVES, A FORCED LNDG AT A PLACE WHERE THERE WAS NO ROOM FOR ERROR WITHOUT RISK TO MY PAX AND ACFT, AND CONSIDERABLE STRESS. IF FLT SVC WAS ABLE TO MORE ACCURATELY RPT WX CONDITIONS AT U59, FLT DECISIONS COULD BE BASED ON MORE THAN PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS AND WE WOULD BE BETTER PREPARED WITH REGARD TO OUR FLT DECISIONS.
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.