Accident to the Chaize DC2000 F16 registered F-HGAY on 08/06/2019 at Vernosc-lès-Annonay (Ardèche)

Investigation progression Closed
Progress: 100%

The pilot was taking part in a hot air balloon festival with a passenger in her seventies.

After a flight time of around 20 minutes, the pilot decided to abort the flight because of the wind which was pushing the balloon towards the Rhone Valley which the pilot did not wish to cross. She identified a field for landing, located about 800 m upstream from a very high-voltage power line.

As the pilot began the descent, a localised aerological phenomenon accelerated the movement of the balloon towards the power line: this surprised the pilot, who missed the originally planned landing site. The pilot felt that she no longer had the time or space to climb above the power line and decided to make an emergency landing at high vertical speed.

During the landing of the balloon in the "upright” position, the basket hit the ground hard, bounced and fell onto its side. It then slid for several dozen metres before coming to a stop. The passenger’s injuries were caused by the rough contact with the ground.