(Received 5 October 1979; accepted 5 December 1979)
Published Online: July
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This manuscript describes techniques undertaken to recreate the sequence of events that transpired after a hot air balloon made contact with an electrical power line. After the pilot's clothing was examined, the source of the fire in relation to the gondola and the pilot was established. Also determined through postmortem examination were the sequence of the three deaths, the probable heights from which two of the three passengers jumped, the setting where each body landed, and the causes of death for all three passengers. Finally, it was concluded, after correlating the autopsy findings with those of the scene investigation, that the proximate cause of the accident was pilot error.
Forensic pathologist, Wishard Memorial Hospital, Indiana University Medical Center, Indianapolis,
Stock #: JFS11253J