The Ultramagic M90 balloon was descending toward a row of trees during an approach to a field in Sherwood, Oregon. The pilot added heat to make the balloon ascend.
Once clear of the trees, he opened a vent to descend and his hand became entangled in the line.
The pilot freed his hand and realized that the descent rate was excessive.
He maneuvered the balloon for a landing in the field. The balloon bounced, went up about 10 to 15 feet above ground level, and then landed hard.
Two passengers sustained broken feet. The balloon sustained substantial damage to 31 fabric panels in the envelope as a result of contact with the burner flames during the landing sequence.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain the descent rate, resulting in a hard landing.
NTSB Identification: GAA15CA038
This April 2015 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.