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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 87135
Last updated: 15 September 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic BALL model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Cameron O-120
Owner/operator:Zebedee Balloon Service Ltd
Registration: G-BVXF
MSN: 3400
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Prattens Bowls Club, Midsomer Norton, Somerset -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Chelwood, Somerset
Destination airport:
Investigating agency: AAIB
The pilot was attempting to climb to an altitude of 6,000 metres (approximately 19,700 feet). Having reached an altitude of 21,500 feet the balloon descended for about 80 seconds at approximately 1,500 feet/minute. It then entered a rapid descent of approximately 5,500 feet/minute from which it did not recover. In the latter stages of the descent the envelope was seen in a collapsed, ‘streamered’ state. There was a post-impact fire, which damaged much of the balloon basket and envelope.

The British Balloon and Airship Club (BBAC) and the balloon manufacturer actively assisted in the AAIB investigation. As a result of the accident the BBAC will be issuing guidance information for operation of hot air balloons at high altitudes.

According to a later BBC report (see link #7) the two fatalities were named as "Pilot Lee Pibworth and Allan Burnett, both from Bristol, who died when their balloon came down in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, on 1 January 2011. The Coroner Maria Voisin recorded a narrative verdict, which did not apportion blame to any one individual. Mr Pibworth, 42, died on impact and a subsequent fire killed Mr Burnett, 55."

Nature of damage sustained to airframe: Per the AAIB report "Balloon Destroyed". As a result, the registration G-BVXF was cancelled by the CAA as "Permanently withdrawn from use" on 08-12-2011


1. AAIB:
2. CAA:

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: AAIB
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report

Revision history:

01-Jan-2011 08:22 saf7670 Added
01-Jan-2011 09:28 TB Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Operator, Damage, Narrative]
01-Jan-2011 12:45 saf7670 Updated [Narrative]
06-Jan-2011 12:36 tiggy44 Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Cn]
08-Jan-2011 01:45 Alpine Flight Updated [Aircraft type]
24-Jan-2011 00:29 StreetF117 Updated [Time]
14-Oct-2011 11:46 harro Updated [Time, Departure airport, Source, Damage, Narrative]
15-Sep-2012 17:52 Dr. John Smith Updated [Operator, Location, Departure airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
25-Nov-2016 17:13 Dr. John Smith Updated [Location, Source, Narrative]
25-Nov-2016 17:17 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]

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