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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 59544
Last updated: 10 November 2020
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Time:c. 5pm
Type:Silhouette image of generic BALL model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Owner/operator:Captain Charles Lorraine
Registration: Unreg
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Port Levy Rocks, outside Lyttelton Harbour, Christchurch -   New Zealand
Phase: Initial climb
Departure airport:Lancaster Park, Christchurch, New Zealand
Destination airport:
David Mahoney (alias Captain Charles Lorraine) was putting on a public balloon ascent from Lancaster Park in Christchurch and intending to descend by parachute. During the launch the parachute was lost, and the balloon ascended to a considerable height and drifted out to sea. Witnesses then saw the balloon "plummet" as the balloonist activated the 'ripcord' thus opening the balloon's envelope and allowing the gas to escape. The balloon and occupant came down in the sea.

Lifeboats and a tug were dispatched but it appears that the balloonist drowned while attempting to swim to shore. This incident was the first aviation fatality in New Zealand.


1. Evening Post - A Ballooning Tragedy
2. Evening Post - Lorraineu2019s Fatal Ascent
6. New Zealand Herald, 2 November 1999. Looking Back.

Revision history:

14-Apr-2009 05:14 XLerate Added
08-Jun-2009 12:38 angels one five Updated
20-Dec-2012 10:32 Dr. John Smith Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Phase, Departure airport, Source, Damage, Narrative]
26-Jan-2014 21:10 angels one five Updated [Operator, Location, Narrative]
19-Feb-2017 20:49 Dr.John Smith Updated [Cn, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
16-Mar-2018 20:23 angels one five Updated [Narrative]
13-Jul-2020 00:41 Ron Averes Updated [Registration]

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