Accident Kavanagh G-525 VH-HVW,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 208456
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Date:Friday 30 March 2018
Type:Silhouette image of generic BALL model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Kavanagh G-525
Owner/operator:The International Balloon Flight Company (Australia)
Registration: VH-HVW
MSN: G525-535
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 25
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Pokolbin, Hunter Valley, NSW -   Australia
Phase: Landing
Nature:Passenger - Non-Scheduled/charter/Air Taxi
Departure airport:Peppers Creek, New South Wales
Destination airport:Hope West, New South Wales
Investigating agency: ATSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
At about 0710 LT on 30 March 2018, a Kavanagh Balloons G-525 balloon, registered VH-HVW and operated by The International Balloon Flight Company (Australia), launched from a site near Pokolbin, Australia for a planned 1-hour scenic flight. HVW was one of three balloons launched by the company from the same site. After climbing through fog to about 2,000 ft and realising how far the fog layer extended, the pilot of HVW, along with the other two pilots, decided to abort the flight and descend for a landing at the nearest suitable site. On approach to land in low‑visibility conditions, HVW collided with trees, which caused the basket to rotate 180 degrees. It then landed heavily, resulting in injuries to 16 of the 24 passengers, three of them serious. The pilot was uninjured and 74 of the balloon’s panels required patching or repair.

Contributing factors
- The decision to launch the balloons, including VH-HVW, in developing low-visibility conditions resulted in the balloons being above a layer of widespread fog, through which they had to descend.
- While on descent to land, the balloon encountered low-visibility conditions that reduced the pilot’s ability to see and avoid obstacles. This, combined with the low-level wind, meant the pilot had insufficient time to avoid impacting the trees.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: ATSB
Report number: AO-2018-027
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report




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Revision history:

30-Mar-2018 00:23 Geno Added
30-Mar-2018 08:25 drgeoffb Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Total occupants, Location, Phase, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
11-Aug-2020 05:25 harro Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Damage, Narrative, Accident report, ]
18-Mar-2022 05:04 Ron Averes Updated [Aircraft type]

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