ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 181210
Last updated: 28 March 2017
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Narrative:Built early 1976, and first registered in the UK as G-BDWW on 16/5/1976. Written off (destroyed) 21/7/1984 when caught fire and crashed in a forced landing at Lowfold Farm, Fittleworth Road, Wisborough Green, Billingshurst, West Sussex. According to the following extract from the official AAIB report into the accident:
Cameron O-77 (Hot Air Free Balloon)
|Owner/operator:||The Dan Air Hot Air Balloon Group|
|C/n / msn:|| 226|
|Fatalities:||Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3|
|Airplane damage:|| Written off (damaged beyond repair)|
|Location:||Lowfold Farm, Fittleworth Road, Wisborough Green, West Sussex -
|Destination airport:||Lowfold Farm, Fittleworth Road, Wisborough Green, West Sussex|
"The balloon was being blown towards the Gatwick Air Traffic Control Zone, so the pilot decided to land. He selected a suitable field ahead, but he was too high to land in the first field selected. He therefore opted to land in the next field, which contained a partly harvested standing barley crop.
The rip panel was pulled at 15 feet agl, and pilot attempted to extinguish the pilot light for the burner. However, before he could close the pilot light valve, the basket hit the ground and turned over. This ignited the standing crop of barley in the field, and the fire became quickly out of control.
The three occupants (pilot and two passengers) escaped from the burning wreckage, and, shortly afterwards, three propane cylinder explosions were heard. In addition to the balloon canopy and basket, three acres of a standing barley crop were destroyed by fire."
Damage to airframe: per the AAIB report, the balloon canopy and basket were destroyed by fire. As a result the registration G-BDWW was cancelled by the CAA as "Destroyed (notified) 14/8/1984"
1. AAIB: https://assets.digital.cabinet-office.gov.uk/media/5422ec79ed915d1374000111/Cameron_0-77_G-BDWW_hot_air_balloon_09-84.pdf
2. CAA: https://www.caa.co.uk/docs/HistoricalMaterial/G-BDWW.pdf