Cat. 2 investigation report: simplified-format report, adapted to the circumstances of the occurrence and the investigation stakes.
The pilot made a sightseeing flight with two passengers in a hot air balloon. He did not give a safety briefing on the ground before the take-off and planned to give the briefing during the flight.
Shortly before landing, he made an overflight at low height to, according to him, assess the strength of the wind. He had noticed the presence of a power line in the balloon’s flight path earlier. He observed that the strength of the wind had increased. He activated the burners to regain height, then gave the safety instructions to the passengers with a view to landing.
During the briefing, he was not concentrating on the path of the balloon which, pushed by the wind and in descent, closed in on the power line. The basket had turned and the pilot was no longer facing the direction of travel. After the briefing, estimating that it would not be possible to avoid collision with the power line, the pilot decided to land before this line by pulling on the valve line.
The balloon envelope came into contact with the power line after the basket had touched down.