Hot Air Balloon Accidents
Hot Air Balloons
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January 12, 2002 -- started out uneventful as far as day for hot hair balloon rides.  A great day for pictures as the hot air balloon rose into the cool winter morning.

My girlfriend and I went out for a hot air balloon ride.  It was a fairly long ride, the pilot was looking for his chase (pickup) vehicle.   Then the pilot "became unfocused" and the hot air balloon ride turned into a nightmare.  The hot air balloon ride turned deadly when the pilot missed seeing a power line.  The hot air balloon cut through a 7960 volt power line in the Texas countryside.  Not a pretty sight for hot air balloon pictures!  Fire and sparks were flying every direction!

My life almost ended there!   The electrified metal of the hot air balloon sent 9000 volts through both sides of my head.  This happened when the ground wire snaked into the hot air balloon basket with the speed of a lashing bullwhip!  The hot air balloon ride turned into "death ride."   The only thing that saved my life was the quick action of a Air Force Security Sergeant Brian Bozick who had been activated because of  9-11.  He saw I had quit breathing.  The hot air ballon pilot seemed "frozen" with fear.  Although Brian had a big hole burned in his glove by the electricty, he verbally took over command of the hot air balloon and ordered the  pilot to get the hot air balloon on the ground so he could administer emergency first aid to me.  The hot air balloon basket hit a fence and crashed over sideways to the ground.  The impact and Sergeant Bozick's action started me breathing again! 

My Hot Air Balloon ride accident finished with an emergency helicopter ride to Brooke Army Medical Center Burn Unit, one of the finest in the nation.  There I endured having my first, second and third degree burns painfully scrubbed to remove debris.  For pictures of my burns and wounds which won't be very pleasant to see (See Photos).  I'm told by my husband, the stench of burnt flesh, as I came out of the burn scrub room, will be forever embedded in his mind with pictures of hot air balloons and hot air balloon accidents.

My husband feels guilt ridden as he gave me the hot air balloon gift certificate to take the hot air balloon ride.  I did not want to go on the ride because it was too cold.  He had ridden hot air balloons many times and figured the worst could be the normal sprained ankle or at worst a broken wrist as the hot air balloon bounced to the ground.  Was he wrong!  This was a deadly hot air balloon ride!



October 2007 - The Hot Air Balloon, named “Heavenly Ride” proved true to it’s name when it killed Rosemary Wooley after hitting a power line.  At 7:45 am the balloon hit a power line and “snagged” then bounced up over 70 feet (per police reports) and smashed poor Rosemary to the ground!  Paramedics tried to help her but reports are that the fall killed her.  The University of New Mexico Hospital pronounced her “dead” on arrival.  Other injuries admitted were  Sheryl Diaz, 60; Susan Simpson, 57; and Doris Currier, 52, all also from Oceanside — were admitted to University Hospital, he said.  As usual the pilot sustained minor scratches that treated at the scene.  Later the ALBUQUERQUE Balloon Fest Flights were halted for high winds Ed Note: Better late than never?

The following day, Rio Rancho police reported dozens of balloon crashes or hard landings after hundreds of balloons lifted off from the Albuquerque Fiesta site. A  police dispatcher reported over the air that 5 or more balloons went down "hard" in Rio Rancho in a couple of hours.  A police report indicated a pregnant woman in a balloon was evacuated to a hospital with premature contractions.

In the Albuquerque 1998 event, one woman was killed  when a balloon crashed into a pair of power lines before falling  30 feet to the ground inside Kirtland Air Force Base on Albuquerque's south side.

In 1993 fiesta, two guys died when their balloon tagged high voltage power lines.  This clipped off the passenger basket that then fell over 100 feet and killed them.   In the Albuquerque 1990 Hot Air Balloon Fiesta  two hot air balloon flyers were killed when their balloon burst into  flames when it hit power lines.

Propane tanks on a huge balloon exploded in 1982 and killed four people. Balloonists, however, say such fatalities are rare and that their sport is not particularly dangerous. However most do know the National statistics for Deaths and Injuries in Hot Air Balloons.

The HOT AIR BALLOON ACCIDENT RATE  "BIG LIE" is built around the fact that Hot Air Balloons Make SHORT FLIGHTS!!!!

Book Release: 
Click:  High Voltage Success
An Exciting New Book by Marcie Cook.  Insightful, Funny, Courageous

FREE Copy to those in "Hot Air Balloon Accidents.  Send us a copy of your "Accident Report" with your name on it!
Click:  Judgment (no money IRS and OTHERS HAD LIENS
Ref:  Cook V. Steven C. Sprague dba Incredible Journey Balloons,
Cause No 2003-cl-00661, in the 288th District Court, Bexar County, Texas.

See: Disclaimer Steven C. Sprague/not Steven K. Sprague of San Antonio, TX
See:  [ MORE - Accident Reports ]

You are safer per million miles to travel commercial air by 1000X.  You are safer per million miles to travel by car 100X.


1. Any personal injury lawyer will tell the you the silly waiver of injury that you sign before your hot air balloon ride is worthless --  if the "balloon driver" (I won't dignify them with the word pilot)  screws up your ride and hurts you.  Their insurance companies have them make you sign the waiver (if they have one) to fake you out of suing if you are hurt!

2. MAKE SURE THEY HAVE INSURANCE! Demand to see the hot air balloon operators Insurance liability policy before you get in the hot air balloon basket.  It's very simple!   No insurance policy, get your money back.  Better yet BEFORE YOU PAY demand to see their current liability insurance "binder."

3.  Why all of this?  Did you know a helicopter evacuation costs at least $7000 plus fuel?  What is the value of having a hole in the back of your eye?  What about paying for the vacuum pump that goes on the big hole in your leg to try to get it to heal?  Hospitalization in a burn unit = cost?   Your loss of being able to work?

These are very graphic pictures.  If you have a queasy stomach don't look at these hot air balloon ride accident pictures.   You will never want to take a hot air balloon ride!



No!  It is only the beginning.   It turns out that hot air balloon operators have a free hand to operate with no liability insurance.  Here is the scary part about hot air balloons:

The FAA considers hot air balloons casual aircraft = NO insurance needed if operating within 25 miles of  an airport.  That's right!  Better have your own health and life insurance!  You and I have to have liability insurance to take our cars out of the garage.  Hot air balloons, no legal requirement!

The FAA "Investigation" of the crash consisted of an investigator calling the balloon pilot.  The pilot reported that the injuries were minor!  A hole in the macula in the back of the eye!  A monstrous hole in the left leg burned almost to the bone!   A hole the side of a pencil eraser in left side of the head.  A 3" burn track down the right side of the head.   I would have hated to see  "serious"  injuries from a hot air balloon accident.  Our lazy FAA Bureaucrats to the rescue!  Great investigation!  No wonder terrorists can steal airliners!

Hot Air Balloon DANGER!!

Marcie Cook Interview with NBC on Hot Air Balloon Safety
if you would like to read the story as well as see the video on NBC's website click hereu HOT AIR BALLOON ACCIDENTS

   Not Pretty Pictures A Hot Air Burn Victim (ME!)
   Click: Graphic Photos
   WARNING - May make you ill!

   STATISTICS: Click Here

u Editorials and research sponsored
    ByThe MLM WatchDog Magazine
u Another Case against Steven "C." Sprague is pending!!!!
See: Additional Comments E-Mailed To Us.
NOTE: To date not one ($) penny has been received from Steve Sprague "for relief "on the judgment I received...
Marcie Cook, San Antonio, TX - America's MLM Consultants, Inc.
u [ Steven C. Sprague ] NTSB investigator plans to make preliminary report next week on fatal Kauai glider crash
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS  - The Republic, Columbus, IN
May 20, 2011 - 1:27 pm

HONOLULU — A federal investigator plans to report his preliminary finding next week about the deadly crash of a motorized hang glider off Kauai's north shore.

National Transportation Safety Board investigator Jim Struhsaker told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser in Friday editions that he's interviewed several people and examined the wreckage of the P & M Aviation Ltd. Pegasus Quik.

The crash Tuesday killed 48-year-old pilot Steve Sprague of Kauai and 53-year-old passenger Ray Foreman of Vista, Calif.

Struhsaker called the wreckage a "mess" after the aircraft hit the water, and it will be a challenge to determine what may have broken while the glider was in the air.

He said he was unable to view information on a camera memory chip recovered from the aircraft.

He's sending it to a laboratory for further investigation.

u Althought we had our differences of opinion we want to share our sincere condolences to Steve Spragues loved ones ...Memorial Services:
Steven C. Sprague, 49, of Kalaheo, Kauai, a pilot, will be remembered in services 11 a.m. Saturday [ 21 May 2011 ] at Koloa Kingdom Hall, 3358 Waikomo Road. He died in Wilcox Memorial Hospital. He was born in Texas. He is survived by wife Anna, son Zac, daughters Tiana Purvis and Jerrica Trevino, parents Charles and Lana, brother Scott, sister Jana Ortiz, grandparents Faye Lessiter and Frank Garrig, and a grandchild.

[ MORE - Accident Report ]
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To the family of Steven C. Sprague, my sincere sympathy
in the loss of your son.
Marcie Cook