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1 2012 Fatal FIREFLY BALLOONS INC FIREFLY 8 Fitzgerald GA Loss of Aircraft Control

FIREFLY BALLOONS INC FIREFLY 8 Fatal (1) Fitzgerald, GA March 16, 2012

The balloon pilot conducted multiple sport parachute flights throughout the day without
obtaining a weather briefing. A SIGMET for severe thunderstorms, hail, and cloud tops to
45,000 feet was in effect for the area surrounding the takeoff and accident sites. Shortly after
the balloon lifted off on the accident flight, the ground crew was advised of a severe storm
warning for the area and observed the storm on radar via their cellular telephones. The crew
contacted the pilot by radio to advise him that the storm was growing quickly. The pilot
informed the ground crew that he would attempt to climb over the storm but shortly thereafter
expressed doubts that the balloon would be able to rise over it.

Read the NTSB report.

The balloon pilot conducted multiple sport parachute flights throughout the day without
obtaining a weather briefing. A SIGMET for severe thunderstorms, hail, and cloud tops to
45,000 feet was in effect for the area surrounding the takeoff and accident sites. Shortly after
the balloon lifted off on the accident flight, the ground crew was advised of a severe storm
warning for the area and observed the storm on radar via their cellular telephones. The crew
contacted the pilot by radio to advise him that the storm was growing quickly. The pilot
informed the ground crew that he would attempt to climb over the storm but shortly thereafter
expressed doubts that the balloon would be able to rise over it.

Read the NTSB report.

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