Serengeti Balloon Accident (SBA) was first published on 5 March 2013. This site is the innovation of long-standing hotair balloon safety advocate Nigel Pogmore, former pilot & safety officer for Uk owned Serengeti Balloon Safaris Ltd (SBS)
The conditions of entry to this site, is that all readers accepts that this is the point of view of the author, views that are based on professional first-hand experiences gained whilst working in the Serengeti, yet also based on information available at the time of publication. Similar to the majority of website, this site remains constantly under construction, in its present form it only represents a fraction of what is to come. For that reason you are advised to check back on a weekly basis.
Should other credible information become available, I shall endeavour to update accordingly.
Should you feel appalled by what is taking place or indeed incensed by what I have written, I genuinely encourage your involvement, therefore to afford all that feel the need to get involved in the public discussions, to do so via Facebook Nigel Pogmore, just send a friend request.
Last but not least, you might prefer to make direct contact via this site. No matter which direction you choose, passenger safety nor pilot intimidation are not to be topics that can be ignored, I therefore encourage you to have your say.
I've not worked since March 2009 therefore have not earned any income, this is the price that pilot's pay for speaking out on what was to become, tragically proven safety concerns. Furthermore after being subjected to threats on my life, to a large extent I have to be very vigilant, employing all necessary precautions. Amongst other malicious charges, Serengeti Balloon Safaris have demanded $500,000 from me, for apparently damaging their business. Given SBS's, (its directors) appalling safety record, that now totals no less than five deaths, derived from three fatal accidents, one might question as to how vulgar they can get.
Please note that www.hotairballoonsafety.com is undergoing a make over, more to the point a slim down ! With yet another fatal accident taking place in Turkey www.cappadocia-fatal-balloon-accidents.com went live earlier this year.
The Canaidian TSB chair WendyTadros stated in her 2011 report that pasenger safety was left up in the Air when refering to the balloon rides industry. Alarmingly there's been references stating that the industry is treated more like a client than one that requires a normal aviation oversight. An Israeli minister making reference to the fact that balloon passengers had been injured stated that more needs to be done in order to bring this multimillion dollar industry up to the more acceptable standard. However the Canadians along with Israelis are not alone, New Zealand just releasedtheir official findings surrounding the 11 fatalities that took place on 7 January 2012 in which he highlighted many concerns, mentioned was the lack of appropriate oversight. Since that accident of course, 19 people were killed Luxor Egypt, not to mention the 32 people that crashed down to earth in Slovenia, taking the lives of six. Again the pilot was not licensed. For the third successive time Turkey appeared on the radar with yet another fatal accident, its second midair collision between two balloons.
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
"Be Cautious Of Hot Air Balloon Rides"
Recent data show that helicopter and fixed-wing commercial air tour operations in the U.S. have high crash rates compared with similar commercial aviation operations, and crash rates increase with less regulated standards of operation. The findings raise concerns about the public health impact of less-regulated commercial air tour operations, such as paid hot-air balloon rides.
The investigation of hot-air balloon-related injuries and deaths in the U.S. reports that targeted interventions may improve crash outcomes and decrease the number and severity of balloon crash injuries. The study, conducted by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Center for Injury Research and Policy, appears in the November issue of Aviation, Space and Environmental Medicine.
Researchers combed through National Transportation Safety Board reports of hot-air balloon tour crashes from 2000-2011. During the 12-year period, 78 hot-air balloon tours crashed, involving 518 occupants. There were 91 serious injuries and 5 fatalities; 83% of crashes resulted in one or more serious or fatal outcome. Of the serious injuries, 56% were lower extremity fractures.
"Our findings provide valuable information not previously available on the number and kinds of injuries sustained in crashes of paid hot-air balloon rides," said Sarah-Blythe Ballard, MD, MPH, first author of the paper and a PhD student at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. "This research can inform consumers about the risks involved with this recreational activity, and serve as a tool for operators and policy makers wishing to employ targeted prevention strategies to reduce balloon ride crashes and crash-related injuries and deaths."
Most crashes (81%) occurred during landing; 65% involved hard landings. Fixed-object collisions, with trees, buildings, power lines or the ground, contributed to 50% of serious injuries and all 5 fatalities. During landing sequences, gondola dragging, tipping, bouncing and occupant ejections were associated with poor outcomes. Of the crashes resulting in serious or fatal outcomes, 20% of balloons were significantly damaged or destroyed.
"Practical interventions and ones that have been proven to reduce injury and death in other areas of transportation and recreation could be utilized to ensure a safer passenger experience on hot-air balloon rides," said Susan P. Baker, MPH, ScD, professor and founding director of the Injury Center at Johns Hopkins and a co-author on the paper. "We know over half the serious injuries we reviewed in our study were lower extremity fractures sustained during landings. Potential strategies for reducing landing forces include cushioning the bottom of the basket or employing crash-worthy auxiliary crew seats during landings. Similarly, the use of restraint systems and the use of mandatory flight helmets could influence crash outcomes."
"A more standardized reporting of hot air balloon crashes would assist the development of targeted interventions aimed at decreasing the number and severity of balloon crash injuries, and improve the public health impact of less-regulated commercial air tour operations, like paid hot-air balloon rides," said Leland P. Beaty, an Injury Center data analyst with 20 years of aviation experience and co-author on the paper. END.
With it having been accepted by members within the industry, that passenger safety is very much a swear word, in the days ahead I shall considering my response, at the same time considering the enormous ramifications for the hot air balloon rides industry.
In the interests of passenger & pilot safety, I would encourage you to support all pilots that have put their livelihoods on the line simply by stepping up to the mark to be counted on such a serious issue.
I agree to the terms & wish to enter chapter 1
I agree to the terms & wish to enter chapter 2