Incident Cameron O-77 AX7 G-BDNZ,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 281826
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Date:Saturday 5 January 1985
Type:Silhouette image of generic BALL model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Cameron O-77 AX7
Registration: G-BDNZ
MSN: 203
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Marsh Bentham, between Newbury and Hungerford, Berkshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: Take off
Departure airport:Marsh Bentham, between Newbury and Hungerford, Berkshire
Destination airport:
Cameron O-77 Hot Air Balloon G-BDNZ: Substantially damaged 5 January 1985 in a take off accident at Marsh Bentham, between Newbury and Hungerford, Berkshire. The incident was the subject of an AAIB Investigation, and the following is the summary from the investigation...

"The balloon was about to take off when a gust of wind blew it downwind, with the basket of the balloon rising to about three feet agl. The safety officer assisted the balloon into the air, by lifting the basket, and then the balloon started to climb

At an altitude of between 6 and 12 feet, the balloon brushed against a tree in the center of the launch field, and unknown to the pilot the rip line was snagged, and partially pulled opening two panels. The pilot opened up the burner continuously in order to gain height and clear the trees at the borders of the launch field.

However, with the two rip panels open, the balloon did not gain sufficient height, and the basket collided with the tops of the trees. The rip line snagged again, causing a total loss of lift. The balloon then sank into the trees, and ended up with the basket tilted at an angle of 45 degrees some 20 to 25 feet off the ground."

=Damage Sustained to airframe=
Per the above AAIB Report "Balloon envelope torn". G-BDNZ was first registered on 8 January 1976. It was sold on to a new owner on 8 July 1977, its third owner on 20 December 1988 (although that registration expired on 19 May 1993) and to its fourth and final owner on 24 September 2005. The registration was cancelled (and G-BDNZ de-registered) on 24 May 2006

Marsh Benham is a village in the civil parish of Speen in the county of Berkshire, England. It is situated in the unitary authority of West Berkshire, just west of Newbury.


1. AAIB;
2. CAA;
3. Photo of accident: (mis-captioned "4 January 1986")
4. G-BDNZ "Sir Winston Churchill" prepares to lift, at the 1978 Icicle Meet Marsh Bentham 7 January 1978 [photo]:

Revision history:

21-Aug-2022 16:11 Dr. John Smith Added
21-Aug-2022 19:32 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

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