After an uneventful flight, the commander identified a potential landing site three fields away and a reserve landing site. He started a descent towards the planned landing site but, as the balloon descended, he realised that he would actually be able to land in the first field. During this landing, which was heavier than the commander expected, a lady cried out in pain. Another passenger then turned towards the lady and, in doing so he lost his grip and fell out of the balloon’s basket, which was now being dragged across the ground by the surface wind. The balloon became airborne again but landed safely at the reserve landing site. The lady suffered minor bruising to the ribs and the passenger who fell out of the basket was not injured. Subsequently, a further two passengers have reported minor injuries to the commander.
The commander, in a frank report, attributed this serious incident to changing his intended landing field, at a low level, despite having already identified and planned to land in a different field.
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Published 14 December 2017