Man Dies After Huge Fall From Hot Air Balloon

Man Dies After Huge Fall From Hot Air Balloon

( – Hot air balloon excursions have grown in popularity over the past few years. For most people, they can be fun. The vessel takes people thousands of feet up in the air, where they can look over the land below, giving them a unique vantage point. However, they also come with some risks, and recently, one man sadly died after he fell out of the craft in Australia.

The incident occurred on Monday, March 18, in Melbourne, Australia, around 30 minutes after the balloon’s departure. The man’s body landed in a residential area in Victoria, where emergency responders quickly closed off the area.

It’s unclear what caused the man to fall, though police are investigating, speaking with the pilot and witnesses to determine how the accident happened. At this time, authorities aren’t considering the death suspicious. However, in light of the fall, several other hot air balloons decided to descend after the accident.

A statement released shortly after noted that the operating company was arranging “psychological support and counseling for all affected,” notably the pilot and other passengers, who sources described as “understandably traumatized,” per CBS News.

The accident in Melbourne was the second hot air balloon ride to end in tragedy this year. In January, four people died when another balloon crashed in Eloy, Arizona, south of the state’s capital. At the time of the accident, five people were on board. A preliminary report issued by the National Transportation Safety Board noted that the envelope, the part of the aircraft that resembles a balloon, appeared to have problems. In particular, the report pointed out thermal damage to the mouth, more damage to its panels, and frayed rim tape.

Despite the two accidents this year, incidents involving hot air balloons are rare, with only 30 deaths between 2008 and 2022, according to Gitnux. Most accidents result from wind-related conditions and pilot error.

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