Accident to the Schroeder Fire Balloons G50/24 registered F-HJAP on 02/06/19 at Pons (Charente-Maritime)

Investigation progression Closed
Progress: 100%

Cat. 2 investigation report: simplified-format report, adapted to the circumstances of the occurrence and the investigation stakes.

After 45 minutes of flight, the pilot decided to land due to increasing wind. In accordance with his instructions, the passengers adopted the safety position. During the final approach, the pilot had one hand on the burner valves, to extinguish them before touchdown, and the other hand on the rapid deflation line. During the landing, the balloon hit the ground hard and bounced. The pilot was thrown out of the basket which then hit and fatally injured him. The balloon regained height and bounced several times before coming to a halt in the vines located at the far end of the field chosen for landing.
The two burner pilot lights were found ignited and two tanks were open, seeming to indicate that the pilot had not been able to fully apply the landing procedure, probably due to being caught off guard by the rapid and unexpected descent of the balloon.