‘Tis the season for summertime activities and one of the most popular (and romantic)? Hot air ballooning. A lovely way to sail over the local landscape and, if you’re of age, drink champagne with your loved one, hot air ballooning can also be dangerous. You might recall the recent story of a hot air balloon ride gone very wrong in Virginia, where three people were killed when their hot air balloon collided with power lines and exploded midair.
Not surprisingly, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has become increasingly concerned about the risks that are associated with hot air ballooning, especially as the warm summer months make it an enticing way to spend a few hours! In April, the NTSB released a report on hot air ballooning safety that addressed the risks of fatal accidents (like the one that occurred in Virginia), as well as other non-fatal injuries involving passengers.
Once known as an activity for couples or small groups, many hot air ballooning facilities have taken it to a new level. Many of the balloons now carry up to 20 passengers! This means a much higher risk of multiple fatalities and catastrophic injuries when there is an accident. All it takes is a sudden change in the wind, air temperature, visibility, or the like, for something serious to happen and for you or a loved one to be injured while hot air ballooning. The NTSB has stated that commercial balloon operators must be required to attain and maintain a Letter of Authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration, and that balloons be inspected rigorously to checks.
Before you sign up for a hot air balloon ride, whether it be in Los Angeles or elsewhere, make sure that the company has the proper certifications and knowledge required to take you safely. If you were injured in a hot air balloon ride, perhaps the company was somehow negligent in the operations, meaning you might be able to sue them for damages suffered.
For more information on injuries associated with hot air balloon rides, or to discuss a personal injury you have suffered as a result of another person’s negligence, contact the experienced Los Angeles trial lawyers at BIKLAW today.