Hot air balloon rides, which have been around since 1783, are thrilling, romantic and even relaxing. They can also potentially be dangerous, particularly when the operator has limited experience.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recorded 775 hot air balloon accidents between 1964 and 2014, with 70 of those involving fatalities. Of those who died, 16 occurred between 2002 and 2012. Although the agency stresses that hot air ballooning is relatively safe, there have been a number of deadly incidents in recent years that raise concern. Consider, for example, the hot air balloon that caught fire mid-air over Egypt, killing 19 of the 21 people on board.
The recent case of Roberts v. T.H.E. Insurance Co. was, thankfully, not a fatal hot air balloon accident case. In fact, the plaintiff wasn’t even in the balloon at the time of the accident. However, she did reportedly suffer injuries when the operator, taking his chances with tethered rides on a windy day, didn’t properly affix the tethers, according to court records. When the wind kicked up, the basket came barreling toward plaintiff, knocking her over and causing her to suffer injury. Continue reading →