Cameron Z-315 Balloon, G-KNIX
The balloon ascended into widespread fog and flew in the clear air above. The pilot made three deliberate descents into the fog in an attempt to land, during the second descent the balloon avoided power lines before striking and becoming lodged in a tree. Having broken clear of the tree, the balloon flew on above the fog until the pilot entered the third descent, which culminated in a safe landing. The investigation determined that the accident would have been avoided had the pilot waited for the visibility to improve before launching. The minimum visibility for the launch to occur under Visual Flight Rules was 5 km, whereas the visibility at the time of the launch was of the order of a few hundred metres.
Cameron Z-315 Balloon, G-KNIX 07-07.pdf (302.16 kb)
Date of occurrence: 10 September 2006