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Saltley Hot Air Balloon Accident

It is funny what kids remember and i had totally forgotten about this incident. My niece was only about 5 at the time but she remembers me taking her to see my Mom who lived in Newtown at the time and we were waving to a Air Balloon that was going over.... I remember later that Day i heard it had Crashed and i think someone was killed? Does anyone remember where the crash was?? It would have been in the early to mid 70s.
 

Speedy23

master brummie
By the way... It would have ben early to mid 70s.
From the official report....

" Hot Air Balloon G-BCCG - accident at Saltley Trading Estate, Birmingham, on 8 October 1974 at approximately 1400 hrs.

The aircraft was carrying out a private demonstration flight from a car park in the Saltley Trading Estate, Birmingham. Preparation for the demonstration flight began at about 13.15 hrs when the balloon was unpacked and laid outat the site. Shortly after take-off, as the balloon attained a height of approximately 800 feet, it collapsed completely and fell to the ground. The pilot and passenger were killed in the impact.

At take-off, the balloon was seen to rise initially very rapidly, with the burner being operated to approximately 100 feet. A witness, standing approximately 30 metres downwind of the launch point, said that he looked up into the balloon as it passed over his head and noticed what appeared to be a 'rugby football shaped' opening - about three feet long - in the top of the envelope through which the sky could be seen.

The balloon continued its rapid ascent with the envelope pulsating slightly but, apparently, fully inflated. Witnesses away from the departure point remarked on an 'apple core' type of indentation which developed on its upper surface. It was also seen to commence an oscillating, semi-rotary motion during the climb with a period of approximately 10 seconds.

When the balloon had reached a height variously estimated as being from 800 feet to 1,500 feet, witnesses noticed that the ascent had stopped and that the envelope was beginning to lose its shape with the throat and leading quarter of the balloon caving inwards. The collapse progressed rapidly and when last observed in the air, at a height of about 450 feet, the envelope had collapsed completely and was streamered out above the basket which was falling fast.

The balloon came down on a canal tow-path. The two occupants were killed by the impact and the basket and burner assembly were badly damaged; although damage to the canopy was slight. There was no fire.

The total distance covered was approximately 900 metres on a track of 1850C (T) which, using a calculated average wind speed of 12 knots, resulted in a total flight time of 2 minutes. Observations and calculations indicate that the balloon reached its maximum height of approximately 800 feet above ground level (AGL) 310 metres down wind from the point of take-off; an average rate of climb of 1,000 Ft/min."

So when you saw it, it must have been just before the crash....:shocked:
 
Speedy 23. Thanks a lot for your info. How awful that was... and what makes it worse i had forgotten all about it and to think we were excitdedly waving to it a few minutes before.
 

sylviasayers

master brummie
I was working at Delta Metals, Dartmouth Street, and we saw the incident from our second floor office, it seemed to deflate very quickly, we saw it go down but didn't know until later that the two people had been killed. I think there have been previous postings on the Forum regarding this incident.
 

Bill Parker

master brummie
Thats really sad. Im not convinced these things are safe anyway. They cannot be steered and seem to be at the mercy of the prevailing winds, they might have been around for thousands of years but that doesnt make them safe, ban them!!
 

Big Gee

master brummie
I remember that balloon accident! I'd just started a new job at Foseco in Nechells - I didn't see the balloon, but some colleagues did, and realised it was in trouble. From what I gather hot-air balloons are pretty safe - most of the time.

Big Gee
 

Karen Horton

New Member
It is funny what kids remember and i had totally forgotten about this incident. My niece was only about 5 at the time but she remembers me taking her to see my Mom who lived in Newtown at the time and we were waving to a Air Balloon that was going over.... I remember later that Day i heard it had Crashed and i think someone was killed? Does anyone remember where the crash was?? It would have been in the early to mid 70s.
Yes it was promotion day for stackatruck or Clarke equipment I was temp telephonist and witnessed whole thing awful they did ask two of the promotion girls to go up but others wanted to, not me, so in end none went thank god
 

Karen Horton

New Member
From the official report....

" Hot Air Balloon G-BCCG - accident at Saltley Trading Estate, Birmingham, on 8 October 1974 at approximately 1400 hrs.

The aircraft was carrying out a private demonstration flight from a car park in the Saltley Trading Estate, Birmingham. Preparation for the demonstration flight began at about 13.15 hrs when the balloon was unpacked and laid outat the site. Shortly after take-off, as the balloon attained a height of approximately 800 feet, it collapsed completely and fell to the ground. The pilot and passenger were killed in the impact.

At take-off, the balloon was seen to rise initially very rapidly, with the burner being operated to approximately 100 feet. A witness, standing approximately 30 metres downwind of the launch point, said that he looked up into the balloon as it passed over his head and noticed what appeared to be a 'rugby football shaped' opening - about three feet long - in the top of the envelope through which the sky could be seen.

The balloon continued its rapid ascent with the envelope pulsating slightly but, apparently, fully inflated. Witnesses away from the departure point remarked on an 'apple core' type of indentation which developed on its upper surface. It was also seen to commence an oscillating, semi-rotary motion during the climb with a period of approximately 10 seconds.

When the balloon had reached a height variously estimated as being from 800 feet to 1,500 feet, witnesses noticed that the ascent had stopped and that the envelope was beginning to lose its shape with the throat and leading quarter of the balloon caving inwards. The collapse progressed rapidly and when last observed in the air, at a height of about 450 feet, the envelope had collapsed completely and was streamered out above the basket which was falling fast.

The balloon came down on a canal tow-path. The two occupants were killed by the impact and the basket and burner assembly were badly damaged; although damage to the canopy was slight. There was no fire.

The total distance covered was approximately 900 metres on a track of 1850C (T) which, using a calculated average wind speed of 12 knots, resulted in a total flight time of 2 minutes. Observations and calculations indicate that the balloon reached its maximum height of approximately 800 feet above ground level (AGL) 310 metres down wind from the point of take-off; an average rate of climb of 1,000 Ft/min."

So when you saw it, it must have been just before the crash....:shocked:
One of the store employees ray Holland guessed where it crashed and found them one wasn’t quite dead but did ultimately think it around 73 or 74
 

Howky

proper brummie kid
One of the store employees ray Holland guessed where it crashed and found them one wasn’t quite dead but did ultimately think it around 73 or 74
I also remember the incident I wad a pupil at duddeston manor school and we saw the balloon going down then on the way home to Arden road in saltley we had to walk down duddeston mill road past the canal we saw the balloon on the tow path with police all around it
 
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