By Ailan Evans
A hot air balloon pilot fell to his death in Vermont after becoming entangled in gear attached to the balloon, authorities announced Thursday.
Brian Boland, 72, of Post Mills, Vermont, died after accidentally becoming entrapped underneath the basket of the hot air balloon he was piloting, Vermont State Police announced in a statement. Boland had become entangled with equipment after the balloon had touched down in a field before ascending again, at which point Boland fell to the ground, according to police.
“The pilot landed in a field off Waits River Road and was pronounced dead on scene,” police said in the statement.
NTSB is investigating the July 15, 2021, accident involving a Hot Air Balloon near Piedmont, New Hampshire.
— NTSB_Newsroom (@NTSB_Newsroom) July 16, 2021
Four other passengers were onboard the aircraft, none of whom were injured although one passenger did fall out of the balloon at the time Boland became entangled, according to police. The balloon continued its flight for over a mile after Boland fell before getting stuck in trees, allowing the remaining passengers to safely escape, police said.
Medical officials in Burlington, Vermont, are conducting an autopsy to determine the manner and cause of death, NBC News reported.
Police handed over the investigation to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration, along with the Vermont Agency of Transportation and the New Hampshire Department of Transportation, according to the statement. NTSB tweeted Friday it is currently investigating the incident.
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