HOT AIR BALLOONING ACCIDENT GRUYÈRE VICTORIA 26 DECEMBER 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
26 December 2018
A commercial hot air balloon flight with a pilot and 15 passengers aboard took off shortly after 0530 Wednesday 26 December 2018 from Wandin Park, Victoria and landed shortly after 0600 at Gruyere after the pilot experienced an onboard fire.
The pilot, one of Australia’s most experienced commercial hot air balloon pilots with approximately 5,500 hours in command, flew the aircraft under challenging circumstances and managed to land the balloon safely, then evacuate the 15 passengers and himself.
A single passenger aged 27 years was transported to hospital for assessment.
After landing the basket was destroyed by fire and the extent of the landing site affected by fire was measured as 6metres by 8 metres. The fire was quickly controlled by local CFA crews who had been notified in advance of the landing.
A comprehensive investigation into the circumstances of the accident will be conducted by The Air Transport Safety Bureau.
For all media enquiries contact:
National Commercial Ballooning Industry Spokesperson
0412 066 666
Australian Ballooning Federation
0417 141 352