BRADFORD, Vt. (CBS) — A pilot is dead after falling from a hot-air balloon Thursday afternoon in Bradford, Vermont. Police have identified him as 72-year-old Brian Boland.
Boland took off with four passengers from Post Mills Airport. After takeoff, the balloon started to descend and touched down in a field, where Vermont State Police say the basket tipped and a passenger fell out.
“During this sequence, the pilot became entangled in gear affixed to the balloon as it re-ascended and ended up entrapped underneath the basket, where he eventually fell to the ground from a height,” police said. “The pilot landed in a field off Waits River Road and was pronounced dead on scene.”
The balloon kept traveling north for 1.5 miles, eventually becoming caught in a tree grove in Piermont, New Hampshire. The three passengers still in the balloon were able to climb down to safety.
None of the other passengers were injured, police said.
Boland’s body was taken to the Medical Examiner’s office in Burlington for an autopsy.
According to WCAX, Boland was an experienced pilot who had logged thousands of hours in hot-air balloons over a 50-year career.
— Channel 3 News (@wcax) July 16, 2021
The NTSB and FAA are investigating the incident.