Aviation Investigation Report A07C0151

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) investigated this occurrence for the purpose of advancing transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.

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Hard Landing - Fuel Leak and Fire
Sundance Balloons International
FireFly 12B (Hot Air Balloon) C-FNVM
Winnipeg, Manitoba, 15 nm NE
11 August 2007


The Sundance Balloons International FireFly 12B hot air balloon (registration C-FNVM, serial number F12B-004) was attempting to land in a field adjacent to Birds Hill Provincial Park near the northern outskirts of Winnipeg, Manitoba. The balloon was operated by Sundance Balloons International under a Special Flight Operations Certificate issued by Transport Canada. One pilot and 11 passengers were on board, all in the balloon's basket. The flight was a local sightseeing flight originating in the southeast of Winnipeg and terminating in the northeast of Winnipeg.

The flight had been extended beyond Winnipeg as the pilot searched for a suitable landing area in strong winds. The balloon touched down and skipped several times. The basket was dragged on its side for about 700 feet and tipped over far enough for the burners to strike the ground as the balloon came to a stop. A propane fuel leak occurred and an intense uncontrolled fire ensued as the passengers were beginning to exit from under the partially-inverted basket. All occupants escaped; however, the pilot and two passengers suffered serious injuries in the intense fire. Four other passengers suffered minor injuries, some with burns. Two of the propane tanks and a fire extinguisher canister exploded, and the basket of the balloon was destroyed by fire. The accident occurred at about 0908 central daylight time.

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© Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada 2008
    Cat. No. TU3-5/07-1E
    ISBN 978-1-100-11425-5