List of ballooning accidents

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This is a list of ballooning accidents by date. It shows the number of fatalities associated with various accidents that involved manned balloons, such as Montgolfiere hot air balloons, Charliere gas balloons, or de-Roziere gas and hot-air hybrid balloons. This list does not include non-fatal accidents, or accidents involving other types of aerostat/lighter-than-air aircraft (i.e. dirigibles, blimps, zeppelins, airships, etc.).


Date Incident Location Notes Deaths Injured
15 June 1785 Death of Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier Wimereux, France Crashed during attempt to cross the English Channel. Balloon involved was a de-Roziere hybrid hydrogen-hot-air balloon and not a Montgolfiere plain hot air balloon.[1] No survivors. Considered one of the first fatal aviation accidents, possibly the first in recorded history.[2] 2 0
7 July 1819 Sophie Blanchard Paris Sophie Blanchard tried to start a firework in 300 m height above Paris. The balloon started burning and crashed down. 1 0
20 September 1851 Death of Joseph Tardini Copenhagen, Denmark After taking off from Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen, the balloon went down in the water near Kalvebod Brygge, killing Italian balloonist Joseph Tardini who had performed dozens of flights in the past. His 11-year-old son and a woman survived.[3] Believed to be the first ballooning death in Scandinavia. The same balloon was again used in July 1852 when Swedish balloonist M. Sivertsen made a successful flight from the town of Christiana in Norway in front of an audience of 40,000 people.[4] 1 0
December 1853 Nimes balloon crash Nimes, France Balloonist M. Louis Deschamps was killed during his 120th flight from the Arena of Nîmes. Bad weather had already forced the mayor to call off a parachute performance. Deschamps was thrown from the basket and the balloon went down about half a mile further.[5] 1 0
October 1897 S. A. Andrée's Arctic Balloon Expedition of 1897 Kvitøya, Norway Indirect deaths: All three balloon expedition members died of exposure months after their Charliere hydrogen balloon crashed. 3 0
31 August 1905 Death of John Baldwin Greenville, Ohio Accidentally killed in a premature dynamite/balloon stunt explosion at County Fair[6] 1 0

14 August 1908 Franco-British Exhibition balloon crash London, England A balloon owned by American balloonist Capt. Lovelace exploded at the Franco-British Exhibition in London, killing his 18-year-old secretary and a male employee.[7] Six others were injured, including a 47-year-old employee who died days later.[8] 3 5
6 June 1968 Danube Tower balloon crash Danube Tower, Vienna, Austria A gas balloon struck the Danube Tower, causing the basket to plummet to the ground, killing American balloonist Francis Shields, Austrian Post and Telegraph Management official Guntram Pammer, and Austria Press Agency journalist Dieter Kasper.[9][10] 3 0
21 September 1970 Free life balloon crash North Atlantic Ocean Balloon was attempting to cross the Atlantic Ocean when it was forced to ditch into the north Atlantic, about 600 miles (970 km) southeast of Newfoundland. 3 0
21 October 1976 Charlotte balloon crash Charlotte, North Carolina, United States [11] 3 0
29 August 1978 Fishers balloon crash Fishers, Indiana, United States [12] 3 0
15 December 1979 Davie balloon crash Davie, Florida, United States Balloon collided with power lines, causing propane tanks to explode.[13] 4 0
20 April 1980 Hurricane balloon crash Hurricane, West Virginia, United States [14] 3 0
20 September 1980 Flims hot air balloon crash Near Flims, Switzerland [15] 3 0
15 August 1981 Barrington Hills hot air balloon crash Barrington Hills, Illinois, United States Balloon hit high-voltage lines and burst into flames after which five people jumped and died; sole survivor suffered serious burns.[16] 5 1
1 July 1982 Valais hot air balloon crash Kranzberg mountain, Valais, Switzerland [17] 4 0
3 October 1982 Piedmont balloon crash Piedmont, South Carolina, United States [18] 3 0
3 October 1983 Albuquerque balloon crash Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States After a normal landing, liquid propane escaped, vaporized and ignited the gondola. The balloon began to rise and four remaining passengers fell or jumped, killing three of them.[19] 4 4
11 June 1989 Garner balloon crash Garner, North Carolina, United States Balloon struck cables of a TV tower, causing it to plummet to the ground.[20] 3 0
13 August 1989 1989 Alice Springs hot air balloon crash Near Alice Springs, Australia Mid-air collision with another balloon[21] 13 0
6 October 1990 Groß-Schweinbarth balloon crash Groß-Schweinbarth, Austria Balloon struck trees while attempting to land, destroying the basket and causing those inside to fall to the ground. The balloonist and three passengers were killed. Three other passengers were seriously injured.[22] 4 3
11 December 1990 Columbus balloon crash Columbus, Ohio, United States Balloon struck TV antenna after departing from a field.[23] 4 0
9 August 1992 Mesquite balloon crash Mesquite, Texas, United States A hot air balloon struck high-voltage power lines, caught fire and plummeted onto a freeway access road, killing its two occupants during the seventh annual Mesquite Balloon Festival.[24] 2 0
21 May 1993 Gnadendorf balloon crash Gnadendorf, Austria A fire broke out during a landing attempt, killing five passengers, including two children. The pilot and two other passengers were both seriously injured.[25] 5 3
8 August 1993 Woody Creek balloon crash Woody Creek, Colorado, United States Balloon struck power transmission line, causing basket to fall more than 100 feet (30 m).[26] 6 0
15 January 1994 Osterburken balloon crash Osterburken, Germany Balloon caught fire while attempting to land; a 45-year-old man jumped from a height of 8 meters (26 ft) and was injured, a 27-year-old woman jumped from a height of 25 meters (82 ft) and was killed, the 50-year-old balloonist was on fire and fell to his death from a height of 80 meters (260 ft), and the woman's partner, a 29-year-old man, remained in the basket and died in the fire.[27] 3 1
19 October 1995 Christchurch balloon crash Off the coast of Christchurch, New Zealand Strong winds forced the balloon to ditch into the sea, killing three people. Others survived.[28] 3 0
18 October 1997 Kienberg hot air balloon crash Kienberg, Germany Gas balloon burst into flames and separated from the basket due to coming too close to the antennas of Nauen Transmitter Station, which caused electrostatic reactions.[29] 4 0
16 June 1999 Ibbenbüren hot air balloon crash Ibbenbüren, Germany Crashed after hitting a power line.[30] 4 0
26 August 2001 Verrens-Arvey hot air balloon crash Verrens-Arvey, France Exploded after hitting a power line.[31] 6 0
23 July 2004 Lucerne hot air balloon accident Lucerne, Switzerland Balloon struck buildings and a tree due to strong winds, injuring passengers and causing a woman to fall through an opening in the floor of the gondola. The balloon landed about 20 minutes later.[32] 1 10
11 August 2007 Sundance Balloon crash - Winnipeg Manitoba Winnipeg, Canada Witnesses said the balloon bounced six times before the basket flipped upside down and burst into flames. Three people were seriously injured in the incident while four others suffered minor injuries [33][34] 0 7
25 August 2007 Surrey, B.C. balloon crash Surrey, B.C., Canada Two people died and eleven were injured when their hot air balloon caught fire and crashed near Surrey, British Columbia.[35] 2 11
20 April 2008 Death of Adelir Antônio de Carli Off Brazil's Atlantic coast Cluster ballooning attempt 1 0
14 October 2009 Yangshuo hot air balloon crash Near Yangshuo, Guangxi, China [36] 4 3
7 January 2012 2012 Carterton hot air balloon crash Near Carterton, New Zealand Entangled in power lines, resulting in fire[37] 11 0
23 August 2012 2012 Ljubljana Marshes hot air balloon crash Municipality of Ig, Slovenia Balloon caught in wind shear, crashed into trees, and caught fire[38] 6 26
26 February 2013 2013 Luxor hot air balloon crash Luxor, Egypt Fire in the basket caused by a leaking fuel line[39][40] Deadliest ballooning accident in aviation history. 19 2
6. August 2013 Accident in Montbovon Montbovon, Fribourg, Switzerland Balloon crashing down after contact with power lines. 1 4
9 May 2014 Ruther Glen balloon crash Ruther Glen, Virginia, United States Balloon struck power lines during landing, causing a fire.[41] 3 0
30 July 2016 2016 Lockhart hot air balloon crash Maxwell, Texas, United States Contact with power lines before crashing, killing all 16 people on board.[42] 16 0
5 January 2018 2018 Luxor hot air balloon crash Luxor, Egypt Under investigation. 1 12

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Geri Walton (15 June 2016). "The 18th Century's First Fatal Balloon Accident".
  2. ^ "A look at the deadliest hot air balloon accidents". USA Today. Associated Press. 30 July 2016.
  3. ^ "Ballonhistorisk kronologi" [Balloon history chronology] (in Danish). Circus Balloon Club.
  4. ^ "Foreign Items" (PDF). New York Times. 28 August 1852. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  5. ^ "France" (PDF). New York Times. 4 December 1853. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  6. ^ See [The Stark County Democrat., September 05, 1905, WEEKLY EDITION, Page 6, Image 6 for a contemporary account. For an extended account see Gretchen L. Rice "And Blood Rained Down A Drake County Balloon Tragedy" Timeline Magazine Ohio Historical Society July/Sept 2006 Vol 23 # 3
  7. ^ "Balloon explodes; two dead, six hurt" (PDF). New York Times. 15 August 1908. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  8. ^ Cawsey, Richard (14 Apr 2016). "A list of fatal air accidents in Britain 1786 - 1916". Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  9. ^ "Investigation report (German)" (PDF). Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  10. ^ Fatal ballooning accident 1968 Donauturm - Rare footage. YouTube.
  11. ^ "Investigation report". National Transportation Safety Board. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  12. ^ "Investigation report". National Transportation Safety Board. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  13. ^ "Investigation report". National Transportation Safety Board. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  14. ^ "Investigation report". National Transportation Safety Board. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  15. ^ "Investigation report (German)" (PDF). Swiss Transportation Safety Investigation Board. 21 May 1981. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  16. ^ "FAA probes balloon crash that killed 5". Chicago Tribune. 17 August 1981. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  17. ^ "Investigation report (German)" (PDF). Swiss Transportation Safety Investigation Board. 27 May 1983. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  18. ^ "Investigation report". National Transportation Safety Board. 3 October 1983. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  19. ^ "Investigation report". National Transportation Safety Board. 3 October 1982. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  20. ^ "Investigation report". National Transportation Safety Board. 15 May 1992. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  21. ^ "13 die when balloon drops from the sky". The Daily Record. Ellenburg, Washington. UPI. 14 August 1989. p. 8.
  22. ^ "Investigation report (German)" (PDF). Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology. 15 October 1990. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  23. ^ "Investigation report". National Transportation Safety Board. 17 March 1992. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  24. ^ "Hot-Air Balloon Crash in Texas Kills ITS 2 Riders".
  25. ^ "Investigation report" (PDF). Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (in German). 21 May 1993. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  26. ^ "Investigation report". National Transportation Safety Board. 1 August 1994. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  27. ^ "Landemanöver mißglückte - drei Tote, ein Verletzter (German)". Berliner Zeitung. 17 January 1994. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  28. ^ "New Brighton hot air balloon accident". Christchurch City Libraries. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  29. ^ "Investigation report (German)" (PDF). German Federal Bureau of Aircraft Accident Investigation. October 1999. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  30. ^ "Investigation report (German)". German Federal Bureau of Aircraft Accident Investigation. June 2000. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  31. ^ "Six Killed in Balloon Explosion". Los Angeles Times. 27 August 2001. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  32. ^ "Investigation report" (PDF). Swiss Transportation Safety Investigation Board. 24 February 2005. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  33. ^ Retrieved 11 August 2007. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  34. ^ "Aviation Investigation Report" (PDF).
  35. ^ "Two dead in B.C. balloon crash | CTV News". Retrieved 2019-06-16.
  36. ^ "Balloon crash in China kills four". BBC News. 14 October 2009. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  37. ^ "Final Report: Aviation inquiry 12-001 Hot-air balloon collision with power lines and in-flight fire, near Carterton, 7 January 2012". Transport Accident Investigation Commission. 31 October 2013. Archived from the original on 2013-11-05. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  38. ^ "Nesreča balona: Tragedijo naj bi povzročilo striženje vetra pri tleh, pilot brez veljavnega dovoljenja" [The Balloon Crash: The Tragedy Was Presumably Caused by Wind Shear near the Ground, the Pilot Did Not Have a Valid License] (in Slovenian). 23 August 2012.
  39. ^ "Fuel leak caused Luxor balloon crash: Aviation ministry". Ahram Online. 7 Jan 2014. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  40. ^ Kane, Patricia (6 June 2015). "Revealed: What REALLY happened to doomed hot air balloon flight that killed 19 passengers on dream trip which turned into carnage". The Scottish Mail on Sunday. Associated Newspapers Ltd. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  41. ^ "Investigation report". National Transportation Safety Board. 6 May 2015. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  42. ^ "Hot air balloon made contact with power line before crashing, investigators say". Associated Press. 31 July 2016. Retrieved 3 August 2016.