Incident Balloon 'Skycar-1' ,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 203167
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Date:Wednesday 13 August 1958
Type:Silhouette image of generic BALL model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Balloon 'Skycar-1'
Owner/operator:Otton Christen Winzen
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Ashland, Wisconsin -   United States of America
Phase: Landing
Departure airport:Ashland, Wisconsin, USA
Destination airport:
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
Epic flight 13 August 1958 (with C.G. Schock) from Ashland, Wisconsin in Balloon "Skycar-1." Crashed and destroyed the balloon at Ashland, Wisconsin. While in a low level balloon training flight with Captain Grover Schock, over Ashland, Wisconsin, in an attempt to land before winds swept the balloon out over Lake Superior, the envelope was manually cut loose prematurely and the gondola fell about 100 feet to the ground. Both men were gravely injured. Winzen sustained fractures of the collarbone, two ribs, two vertebrae, right wrist, and lower arm, but against it's own expectations at the moment of the accident, he survived".

Noted as the last flight in his logbook as "the END" Pilot was Otton Christen Winzen. According to a brief biography (see link #2):

"WINZEN, Otto Christian (1918-1979)
Scientific balloonist.
Emigrated from Germany 1937; Second husband of V. SIMONS.
born: 1918 Cologne Germany;
died: 1979 (suicide).
University of Detroit, Engineering.
Research & development scientist for the U.S.Navy, Worked for General Mills Corp. & Minnesota Tool Co; Founder of Winzen Research Corp.; Makers of Strato-Balloons, Bloomington (MN) and Sulphur Springs (TX).
First Balloon Flight 19 Dec.1956 with D.SIMMONS from Bloomington, IL; First Balloon Solo Flight 30 April 1957 from Fleming Field, MN; FAA Balloon-License #1386827 issued 30 August.1957; Trained many Military pilots, Total time in balloons 91:15.

Reportedly built his first Gas balloon in 1937; Owner of a traditional gas balloon "Sky-Car"; Developed polyethylene film for strato-balloons 1945-50 era.; Made the largest balloon ever built, 12 million cubic meters (423.7 million cu.ft.; Flew to 145,000' 1 Jun.1975).

LTAS, Honorary Life Member; FAI-CIA Delegate 1957; Participated in many strato-balloon projects, Project "Helios" for J.PICCARD; Rockoon & Stratolab; Project "Man-High". Epic flight 13 August 1958 (with C.G.. Schock) from Ashland, WI in "Skycar-I." Crashed and destroyed the balloon. Noted as the last flight in his logbook as "the END."


1. The Windsor Daily Star 14 August 1958, p.1
4. Pilot Biography/Obituary:

Revision history:

20-Dec-2017 20:32 TB Added
07-Sep-2022 21:09 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Operator, Total occupants, Location, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Source, Narrative, Category]
07-Sep-2022 21:09 Dr. John Smith Updated [Aircraft type]

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