Accident Cameron Balloons Us A-400 N65298, 29 Dec 2013
ASN logo
ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 289608
This information is added by users of ASN. Neither ASN nor the Flight Safety Foundation are responsible for the completeness or correctness of this information. If you feel this information is incomplete or incorrect, you can submit corrected information.

Time:08:30 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic BALL model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Cameron Balloons Us A-400
Owner/operator:Balloons Above The Valley
Registration: N65298
MSN: 6694
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 21
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Napa, California -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Passenger - Non-Scheduled/charter/Air Taxi
Departure airport:Napa, CA
Destination airport:Napa, CA
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The pilot was flying the balloon as a commercial revenue sight-seeing flight with 20 passengers on board. The pilot reported that during the inflation of the hot air balloon about 30 minutes prior to the accident, the weather was clear skies and calm wind.

The pilot reported that he was about 10 minutes behind the other balloons, so he was able to observe their flight path through the valley. Prior to the accident, the pilot noted the airspeed was about 16 miles per hour, which he thought unusual for the location of the flight. As he had observed the other balloonists do, he placed his balloon in a controlled descent, with the intent of traversing the same section of the valley as the other balloons. This part of the tour would take them over the vineyards and through the center of the valley. During the controlled descent, the pilot reported that it felt like the balloon was being pushed down, which he attributed to wind shear. The bottom portion of the balloon's basket subsequently contacted the top of a 30-foot wooden power pole and simultaneously the backside of the envelope was pushed toward the burners, which caused several structural panels to be burned. The pilot continued the flight for another 1.5 miles in order to make a safe landing in a park. The pilot landed the balloon without further incident.

The company indicated that the pilot received his weather briefing from the National Weather Service, but did not say at what time; only that the wind was calm. Thirty minutes before departure, recorded weather at a nearby airport indicated that the wind was calm. Approximately 30 minutes after the accident, the recorded weather at the same airport reported that the wind was from the west at 5 knots.

Probable Cause: Failure to maintain clearance from obstacles during a descent that resulted in an inadvertent collision with a pole.



Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 3 months
Download report: Final report

Revision history:

05-Oct-2022 16:07 ASN Update Bot Added

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

The Aviation Safety Network is an exclusive service provided by:
Quick Links:

CONNECT WITH US: FSF Facebook FSF Twitter FSF Youtube FSF LinkedIn FSF Instagram

©2023 Flight Safety Foundation

1920 Ballenger Av., 4th Fl.
Alexandria, Virginia 22314