Balloon Incident Hunter Valley
For Immediate Release
HUNTER VALLEY BALLOONING OPERATOR STATEMENT AFTER
BALLOONING INCIDENT 13 JANUARY 2018
13 January 2018
Balloon Safaris – a NSW hot air ballooning company has today issued the following statement following an incident which has resulted in four passengers sustaining non life-threateninginjuries on landing:
A hot air balloon carrying 15 passengers took off at Whittingham near Singleton this morning at 5.45 am and flew for approximately 35 minutes. The balloon took off in calm conditions in the company of three other balloons with a normal flight expected. During the flight the wind speed increased much earlier than was predicted by the Bureau of Meteorology. The pilot decided to land at the first available landing spot. The balloon landed firmly and some injuries were sustained by passengers in the basket as a result. All three other balloons landed safely.
The pilot is highly experienced with thousands of hour’s flight experience.
The company is preparing to lodge the required report with the Australian Transport Safety Bureau regarding the incident.
The company, while proud of its long safety record, regrets the incident and is providing assistance and support to the passengers and their families. Two passengers were conveyed to John Hunter Hospital and two passengers to Maitland Hospital where they are reported to be in stable condition.
The hot air ballooning community in Australia is bound by a shared wonder and love of lighter than air aviation, which, despite this incident remains one of the world's safest forms of aviation.
All members of the hot air ballooning operators company including its commercial pilots, ground crew, maintenance and operations specialists, together with their families and friends extend their apologies to the passengers involved.
For media enquiries contact:
Professional Ballooning Association of Australia
0412 066 666