New Zealand hot air balloon crash kills 11

by nph | January 13th, 2012

January 13, 2012

Last week a hot air balloon hit electrical wires and crashed in flames, killing 11 people, reports Bloomberg.com.

Police said that the pilot and all 10 of the passengers on board are believed to be from New Zealand.

After a 45-minute flight near Carterton, about 50 miles northeast of the capital, Wellington, the balloon struck power lines and caught fire.

After the flames erupted, a male and female jumped from the basket to their deaths. Then the craft made a sharp descent and crashed to the ground, killing all of those still on board.

The investigation “is not a quick process and will take some time to complete,” said the Wairarapa Area Commander Inspector.

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission and Civil Aviation Authority are among those involved in examining the New Zealand crash.

“Experts will be looking to learn any lessons from the investigations, which have begun today which can help improve safety for others in the future,” the Transport Minister said.

The balloon accident may damage New Zealand’s tourism industry. Tourism is one of the country’s biggest export earners, partly through highlighting outdoor activities such as bungee jumping, ballooning, and skiing.

The balloon accident is the biggest loss of New Zealand life in an air accident since 1979, when an Air New Zealand sightseeing flight over Antarctica crashed and killed all 257 passengers and crew.

Read more.

If you or someone you know has had his or her safety compromised on a commercial or private aircraft, the aviation lawyers at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy may be able to help.