A HOT air balloon pilot has died after becoming entangled in gear underneath the basket and then falling to the ground.
Five people were inside the balloon which took off from the Post Mills airport in Vermont on Thursday afternoon.
Some time later the balloon touched down in a field the basket tipped and one passenger fell out, but was unhurt.
At that point, the pilot became entangled in gear affixed to the balloon as it re-ascended. He eventually fell to the ground in a field where he was pronounced dead.
After the pilot’s death, three other passengers remained in the balloon until it caught in a grove of trees about 1.5 miles farther north in Piermont, New Hampshire, where they escaped without injury.
None of the passengers were hurt.
The name of the pilot was not immediately released until his family could be notified.
The incident is being investigated by officials from the National Transportation Safety Board, the Federal Aviation Administration and state transportation officials from Vermont and New Hampshire.
Police said: "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."
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