Narrative Verdict at inquest for tragic balloon pair.
Inexperience of operating large balloons and the effects of altitude contributed to a fatal hot-air balloon crash, a coroner has found.Pilot Lee Pibworth and Allan Burnett, both from Bristol, died when their balloon came down in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, on 1 January 2011.
Coroner Maria Voisin recorded a narrative verdict, which did not apportion blame to any one individual.MrPibworth, 42, died on impact and a subsequent fire killed Mr Burnett, 55.
An Air Accidents Investigations Branch (AAIB) report said that although both men were experienced balloonists, for this flight they were using a large "lock-top" design balloon.
They were not familiar with this particular balloon or experienced in using it, although the court heard neither was unhappy about flying it.The AAIB also said the lack of oxygen at high altitude might have affected the pair's judgement as they tried to descend.
MrPibworth, a pilot, had been trying to reach an altitude of more than 19,700ft (6,000m), one of the criteria needed for a British Balloon and Airship Club (BBAC) gold medal.
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