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

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Neighborhood Starting To Get Too Safe For Family To Afford

CHICAGO—Explaining that the sense of unease she felt walking to and from her home had declined markedly over the years, Humboldt Park resident Kirsten Healy expressed her disappointment to reporters Thursday that her neighborhood was becoming too safe for her family to afford.

Area Dad Informs Busboy He’s Ready To Order

NASHUA, NH—Raising his arm into the air while leaning outward from the table in a bid to command attention from the other side of the restaurant, area father Walter Bierko called over a busboy at DiCapri’s Italian Eatery to inform him that he was ready to order, sources reported Wednesday.

Winning Argument With Aging Parents Less Satisfying Than It Once Was

CINCINNATI—After firmly telling them that she was okay paying city prices and that she would not move back to her hometown just because it was cheaper, local woman Ellen Wallace, 40, confirmed Thursday that winning an argument with her parents has become much less satisfying as they have gotten older.

Rescuers Heroically Help Beached Garbage Back Into Ocean

ATLANTIC BEACH, NC—In what many described as an inspiring display of selflessness and teamwork, a group of rescuers heroically saved a beached mound of garbage by helping the stranded trash back into the ocean, eyewitnesses reported Thursday.

Man Races Against Time To Take Out Trash Bag With Widening Puncture

RIO RANCHO, NM—His pace steadily quickening as he rounded the corner out of his kitchen and made a beeline for the front door, local man Henry Parnasse reportedly found himself locked in a race against time Wednesday morning to take out a trash bag with a widening hole in its side.

Man Pushed Off Plate Of Chicken Wings By Larger Male

WARMINSTER, PA—Looking on as the intense display of aggressive behavior played out over several minutes, sources at Flannigan’s Bar & Grill confirmed Thursday that local man Pete Samuelson was pushed off a plate of buffalo wings by a much larger alpha male.

Grandma Guts It Out Through Lunch On Sunny Patio

MALVERN, PA—Making the audacious decision to dine outdoors with her family despite a noticeable lack of umbrellas or awnings, grandmother Diane McGilvery, 83, reportedly gutted it out through lunch Friday on the sunny patio of a local restaurant.

Parents Formally Announce Transfer Of Expectations To Second Child

GRAND JUNCTION, CO—Explaining that the adjustment made the most practical sense for all parties involved, local parents Beth and Ryan Morgan held a press conference Friday morning to announce the official transfer of expectations from their oldest child, Jeremy, to his younger sibling, Angie.

Motorcyclist Salvaged For Parts

SIOUX FALLS, SD—Following a multiple-vehicle accident on Interstate 90 that temporarily halted traffic in both directions, sources reported Friday that a motorcyclist involved in the crash was hauled off and salvaged for parts.

Detective Not Sure He Was Close Enough To Partner To Endlessly Pursue Killer

DETROIT—After his partner of three years was gunned down last week while the pair were on duty, Detective David Killian of the Detroit Police Department’s Major Case Squad told reporters Wednesday he was unsure whether he had been close enough to his murdered colleague to single-mindedly pursue the killer for as long as it takes.

Man Pretty Cocky Since Beating Cancer

FT. LAUDERDALE, FL—Whether he’s bragging about his newfound appreciation for life or arrogantly refusing to take anything for granted, local man Daniel Oretsky, 38, has been acting insufferably cocky since winning his two-year battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, sources confirmed Tuesday.

Area Man Under Impression He Got Dressed Up

PROVIDENCE, RI—Explaining that the dinner he would soon be having at an upscale restaurant required him to wear something a bit special, local man Kyle Finnegan was under the impression that he had just gotten dressed up, sources said Thursday.

Man Honestly Thought Breakdown Would Be More Obvious To People

MAPLEWOOD, MN—Explaining that he had assumed the deterioration of his physical and psychological state would be readily apparent, 3M sales associate Mark Uhler told reporters Wednesday he honestly thought his ongoing breakdown would be more obvious to everyone around him.

Report: Dad Wants To Show You Where Fuse Box Is

YOUR LOCATION—Noting that it’s important to be prepared in case of emergencies but it’s also a good thing to know in general, your dad announced today that he wants to show you where the fuse box is.

Neighborhood Busybody Reports Sound Of Gunshots

INDIANAPOLIS—Once again sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong, neighborhood busybody Sally Christensen, 54, reportedly took it upon herself to report the sound of gunshots to law enforcement early Tuesday morning, sources confirmed.

Being Older Than Daughter Babysitter’s Only Qualification

UTICA, NY—Possessing no particular proficiencies or training whatsoever, local 12-year-old Jessica Radloff was reportedly hired to babysit Hayley Carden, 7, this week based solely on her qualification of being older than the child she was asked to watch.

Total Weirdo Spends Mother’s Day At Cemetery

ST. MARYS, OH—Apparently content to hang around dead people rather than celebrate like a normal person, area weirdo John Mills spent most of Mother’s Day at a local cemetery, creeped-out sources confirmed.

Child Visiting Ellis Island Sees Where Grandparents Once Toured

ELLIS ISLAND, NY—Pausing to imagine the throngs of people who must have arrived with them that day back in 1994, 12-year-old Max Bertrand reportedly spent his visit to Ellis Island this afternoon walking around the same immigrant station his grandparents once toured.

Email From Mom Sent At 5:32 A.M.

DENVER—After waking up and finding the message waiting on his computer, local man Drew Swanson confirmed to reporters Thursday that his mother had sent him an email at 5:32 a.m.

Man Proud Of Food He Ordered

DEDHAM, MA—Noting how the man grinned with satisfaction after his Buffalo Chicken Ranch sandwich with a side of spiced panko onion rings arrived at his table, sources at Chili’s Grill & Bar confirmed Tuesday that local diner Matt Schoesse ...
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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."