Cat. 3 investigation report: report concerning an occurrence with limited consequences, based on one or more statements not independently validated by the BEA.
This is a courtesy translation by the BEA of the Final Report on the Safety Investigation published in July 2021. As accurate as the translation may be, the original text in French is the work of reference.
Note: The following information is principally based on statements made by the pilot. This information has not been independently validated by the BEA.
1 - HISTORY OF THE FLIGHT
The pilot of the hot air balloon and two passengers carried out a local flight from Ampferbach (Alsace) bound for the La Bresse area.
The pilot indicated that the weather conditions encountered were favourable for the flight. Close to destination, the pilot told his passengers that he was going to skim the tree tops to make the snow fall from them.
He explained that they touched a tree top which blocked the basket, unbalanced the balloon then, when it broke, pulled the rope of the rapid deflation valve. The envelope deflated quickly and ended up hanging in the trees, a few meters above the ground.
2 - ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
2.1 Pilot information
The 69-year-old pilot held a balloon licence with an “A hot air” rating. The day of the accident, he had logged about 250 balloon flight hours.