AAIB (Air Accidents Investigation Branch) has published a report into a fatal accident involving an amateur built balloon (DB-6R) (registration G-CMFS), Ombersley Court, Worcestershire, 25 June 2023.

The pilot was taking part in a balloon competition. 

One part of the competition involved dropping a marker as close as possible to a target location. 

The accident occurred whilst the balloon was climbing rapidly away from this target. 

The balloon envelope collapsed, and the basket descended to the ground, fatally injuring the pilot.

The investigation found the balloon was likely to have suffered a parachute stall.

The balloon design, the weather conditions, and the rapid climb are all likely to have contributed to the accident.

Three Safety Recommendations are made to the British Ballooning and Airship Club (BBAC) to:

Develop an effective reporting culture within the ballooning community.

Issue guidance on the prevention and recovery from unsafe conditions such as parachute stalls.

Issue guidance regarding jettisoning of fuel tanks during an emergency.

Two Safety Recommendations are made to the CAA to:

Publish guidance on the design, testing and inspection of amateur balloons insofar as these activities relate to unsafe conditions such as parachute stalls.

Publish guidance related to the oversight of competition balloon flying.