adBlockCheck

Black Box Records Last 90 Minutes Of Hot-Air Balloon Crash

Top Headlines

Local

Mom Learns About New Vegetable

MERRILVILLE, IN—Excitedly sharing the news with her husband and two teenage children, local mother Karen Tyson, 49, learned about a new vegetable Wednesday, sources confirmed.

Cover Letter Specifically Tailored To Company Even Sadder Than Generic Ones

BEDMINSTER, NJ—Wincing noticeably as they read the applicant’s claim that he has “always wanted to work for the leading midsize pharmaceutical advertising and brand strategy group in the tri-state area,” sources at Percepta Healthcare Communications confirmed Tuesday that a cover letter specifically tailored to their company was much sadder than any of the generic ones they had received for a recently posted job opening.

Grandmother Doesn’t Care For New Priest

SPENCERPORT, NY—Voicing criticism of the man’s general demeanor and the hurried pace of his masses, local grandmother and St. Rafael Catholic Church parishioner Patricia Trudel, 72, told reporters Friday she doesn’t care much for the congregation’s new priest.

Mom Brings Home Little Plaque That Says ‘Family’

GAITHERSBURG, MD—Describing how she hung the newly purchased decoration on the living room wall immediately upon returning, sources confirmed Tuesday that area mom Patricia Matheson had brought home a little wooden plaque that says “Family.”

Mentally Unbalanced Man Still Waiting For The Right Trump Comment To Incite Him

HARRISBURG, PA—Explaining that the candidate’s recent inflammatory statements had further stoked his uncontrollable fury but hadn’t quite pushed him over the edge, local resident and mentally unhinged man Peter Scheft told reporters Friday he is still waiting for the exact right comment from Trump that will incite him to action.

No One Really Knows What Dad Was Doing From 1985 To 1988

BOSTON—Unable to recall a single instance in which their father mentioned any details about his early adulthood, the children of local man Alan Murphy confirmed Monday they had no idea what he was doing between the years of 1985 and 1988.

Home Depot Employee Can Tell This Customer’s First Attempt At Pipe Bomb

APPLETON, WI—Shaking his head Monday as the customer selected a length of plastic pipe over a stronger metal alternative and placed it into his shopping cart, local Home Depot sales associate Graham Warner, 57, was reportedly able to tell right away that this was the store patron’s first attempt at making a pipe bomb.

Man Entirely Different Misogynist Online Than In Real Life

CHATTANOOGA, TN—Explaining how his subtle belittlement and disrespect for women in face-to-face interactions had little in common with the bold, outspoken manner in which he degrades women when he’s on social media or website message boards, sources reported Tuesday that local man Colin McManus is a totally different misogynist online than in real life.

Man Has Loyalty To Pretzel Brand

BROWNSVILLE, TX—Describing them as “the best pretzels out there” and “the only ones [he] buy[s],” local resident Ned Carlisle expressed his firm loyalty to Snyder’s of Hanover–brand pretzels Tuesday.

Seagull This Far Inland Must Be Total Fuckup

KNOXVILLE, TN—Questioning how the bird could have possibly ended up more than 300 miles from the nearest ocean, sources confirmed Friday that a seagull that was spotted this far inland must be a total fuckup.
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next

Black Box Records Last 90 Minutes Of Hot-Air Balloon Crash

FAYETTEVILLE, AR—A black box recovered from the scene of Sunday afternoon's crash of a hot-air balloon gave investigators a chilling glimpse into the craft's final, somewhat terrifying 90 minutes in the air.

Local police locate the black box within the wicker basket.

"I hate to imagine their ordeal," Fayetteville Police Chief Dwight Gibson said. "Suspended dozens of feet off the ground, at the mercy of the wind, the good part of an afternoon spent not knowing where or when you'll come to a somewhat bumpy stop."

Gibson said investigators located the black box for Mild Blue Yonder Hot-Air Excursions Ride 592 next to a set of power lines about four miles south of Fayetteville Sunday, "in near perfect condition, considering it hit the ground at 6 miles per hour."

Using information from the flight data recorder, it has been determined that Ride 592's wicker basket skidded nearly 35 feet across the grass before falling on its side, ejecting its three passengers and pilot.

"One quick-thinking civilian thought to use his cell phone to alert authorities to the disaster," 911 dispatcher Myrna Baines said. "Then he called his family, his friends, the hot-air-balloon company, and then a coworker, to reschedule some appointments."

Emergency crews arrived on the scene 40 minutes before the crash, responding to calls from area residents reporting a low-flying hot-air balloon. Said Officer Jason Cheyenne: "We got stuck in traffic, so the wait for the balloon to crash wasn't too bad."

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board were on the accident scene overnight, inspecting the lightly scuffed wicker and rainbow-striped nylon debris and reviewing information obtained from the flight data recorder.

"The flight data recorder indicates that about 30 minutes into the balloon ride, a burner began to perform erratically," NTSB spokesman Richard Schneer said. "When the pilot lost what little control he had of the craft, he panicked, and the passengers followed suit, sending the whole basket into chaos."

Investigators believe that over the course of a harrowing hour and a half, the balloon slowly lost altitude and descended at a 25-degree angle. The voice recorder revealed tense moments on board during the descent.

"We believe that when the balloon picked up a wind and floated upward, the panic subsided," Schneer said, "only to flare up again when the balloon began to float downward. Once the balloon successfully cleared that corridor, calm was restored, then lost when a section of the balloon began to sag."

"Our data would seem to indicate that this cycle happened seven more times," Schneer added.

Schneer said the conversation that took place among the passengers "was awful tough to listen to."

"One passenger, a female, said that her life passed before her eyes, minute by minute," Schneer said. "Then when that was over, she reflected on her life's quieter moments."

"Some of the audio is unclear, but we believe one passenger got into an argument with his wife because he forgot to take out the trash before he left home," Schneer said.

Another passenger painstakingly narrated the accident for rescue workers, explaining, during much of the last 40 minutes of the descent, where the balloon was likely to touch ground.

"We talked about the wreck, sure," Baines said. "But we started chatting about other stuff as well. He's a pretty cool guy. Some of us might go out and grab some beers with him later on this week."

Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.

X Close