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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 192886
Last updated: 13 November 2019
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Date:14-JAN-2017
Time:09:00
Type:Silhouette image of generic BALL model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Ultramagic N-500
Owner/operator:Balloon Adventures Emirates
Registration: A6-BOB
C/n / msn: 500/12
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 24
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Category:Accident
Location:Al Madam desert, Sharjah -   United Arab Emirates
Phase: En route
Nature:Domestic Non Scheduled Passenger
Departure airport:Al Faqa, Dubai
Destination airport:
Investigating agency: GCAA UAE
Narrative:
On 14 January 2017, at approximately 07:00 Local Time, an Ultramagic N-500 hot air balloon, registration mark A6-BOB, operated by Balloon
Adventures Emirates (BAE) LLC, took off on a commercial sightseeing flight from Al Faqa, Dubai, the United Arab Emirates. There were a total of 24 persons on-board comprising the pilot and 23 passengers.
Initially, the balloon was cold inflated by the ground crew. Thereafter, the pilot started to hot inflate the balloon envelope with the assistance of the ground crew. During hot inflation, the pilot did not open the velcro tabs of the parachute/deflating system. Later, a gust of wind exerted a significant force on the envelope while it was still in a semi-inflated condition. This force, and the low angle of the envelope relative to the basket, caused most of the balloon’s eight nylon rods to break. The pilot was not aware of the problem and continued with the hot inflation and boarding the passengers. The ground crew standing nearby were immediately aware of the problem and attempted to alert the pilot. However, the pilot did not notice their efforts to gain his attention, as he was focused on operating the burners.
Following liftoff the flight proceeded normally, and during the descent to the landing area, the pilot instructed the passengers to adopt the landing position, as briefed before takeoff.
When the balloon came to a full stop, the gas was still feeding the burner and the flame was continuous. The basket, with the pilot and all of the passengers still on-board, tilted over and the burner flames impinged on the balloon structure and the pilot suffered burns to his face.
The ground crew were at the landing site and they started to lift the basket with the assistance of some of the passengers in order to release those still on-board. The ground crew quickly extinguished the fire.

The Investigation concluded that the causes of the accident are the pilot performing the takeoff with most of the nylon rods fractured or bent, failure of communication between ground crew and the pilot during pre-takeoff, the burner pilot lights remaining active during landing, and the pilot grabbing of the burner handle by both hands causing inadvertent activation of the liquid valve.

Sources:

http://gulfnews.com/news/uae/emergencies/six-tourists-injured-in-hot-air-balloon-crash-in-sharjah-1.1962921

Safety recommendations:

Safety recommendation SR15/2018 issued 28 October 2018 by GCAA to Balloon Adventure Emirates
Safety recommendation SR16/2018 issued 28 October 2018 by GCAA to Balloon Adventure Emirates
Safety recommendation SR17/2018 issued 28 October 2018 by GCAA to GCAA

Accident investigation:
cover
  
Investigating agency: GCAA UAE
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 9 months
Download report: Final report


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
16-Jan-2017 16:54 gerard57 Added
28-Oct-2018 16:52 harro Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Total occupants, Nature, Departure airport, Source, Narrative, Accident report, ]

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