Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand
23 February 2012

CAA RELEASE

For further information contact:

Senior Communications Adviser, Emma Peel
Tel: 04 560 9646, or 027 272 3545
Email: emma.peel@caa.govt.nz

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CAA investigates hot air balloon maintenance

The Civil Aviation Authority has launched an investigation into the maintenance of hot air balloons following concerns about the balloon involved in the fatal accident at Carterton last month.

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) is investigating the accident in which 11 people died, and has reported anomalies in the maintenance of that hot air balloon to the CAA.

TAIC says it appears a strength test on the balloon’s envelope, and a fuel system inspection were not done correctly, and documentation was incomplete. TAIC is clear that it has not concluded these issues caused the accident.

Acting Director of Civil Aviation John Lanham says these findings are very serious.

“The CAA last week launched an investigation into the maintenance surrounding this balloon, and the remaining 73 hot-air balloons in New Zealand.

“This is an urgent matter, and the CAA investigation team are expected to provide an initial report by next Wednesday.

“The CAA will act swiftly to address any deficiencies found in maintenance practices of hot-air balloons operated in New Zealand.”

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