NTSB report confirms hot air balloon struck power lines

CAROLINE, VA (WWBT) - The NTSB released its preliminary report into the hot air balloon tragedy in Caroline, confirming the balloon struck a power line during an attempt to land.

The Eagle C-7 balloon was destroyed by fire on May 9 around 7:40 p.m. about 3.75 miles north of its departure site at Meadow Event Park, according to the investigator's report.

Click here for a PDF of the NTSB report: http://bit.ly/1i0v5tO

Another balloon had just landed in the field, before the balloon piloted by Daniel Kirk approached from the south. Kirk attempted to engaged the burner and raise the balloon, but it struck the lines, causing a spark which led the balloon basket and a section of the envelope to caught fire, according to the report. The balloon then "began an accelerated climb and drifted out of sight."

Inspectors say the debris path was approximately 1.75 miles in length. Crews recovered two stainless steel propane fuel tanks, a hand-held fire extinguisher, the instrument panel, and various pieces of the charred envelope fabric.

Click here for full #HotAirBalloon tragedy coverage: http://bit.ly/1mTbKjG

Crews still have not found other pieces of the balloon, including the crown, crown ring, deflation port, burner, and two other propane tanks.

The report also shows the balloon was inspected on August 5, 2013, and had 270.4 hours of total time.

Investigators also said a global positioning system and three cellular phones were located, removed, and sent to the NTSB Recorder Laboratory for download.

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