Hot air balloon company set to sue weather bureau over faulty forecast

Two passengers have since sued Go Wild Ballooning in the Supreme Court of Victoria, seeking damages for serious neck, leg and spinal injuries sustained in the crash.

The passengers claim that Go Wild was negligent in not checking the local weather forecast and not advising them on adopting the correct position in the event of a hard landing.

A person is placed on a stretcher after a hot air balloon crashed in the Yarra Valley on February 8, 2018.Credit:Nine News

Earlier this month, Go Wild filed its own Supreme Court suit against the Commonwealth of Australia in an attempt to hold the federal government liable for any potential harm.

Go Wild is also seeking compensation for any costs it may have to pay to defend the action in court.

“The BOM breached its duty of care to the hot air balloon operators and the plaintiff, Go Wild, by
uploading the incorrect recording instead of the correct recording to its automated telephone information service for the morning of February 8, 2018,” the writ reads.

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“If the correct recording had been uploaded by the BOM on the morning of February 8, 2018 (which indicated that a significant wind shift could be expected), the flight carrying the passengers would not have launched and the injuries or damage suffered by passengers as a result of the incident would not have taken place.

“Under the circumstances, the BOM acted negligently.”

A lawyer for Go Wild declined to comment, but it is understood the writ has not yet been served and depends on passenger claims.

The weather office updated its procedures following the crash to ensure pilots have access to the latest weather information.

A new recording system will automatically upload briefings made by forecasters to the telephone weather service.

Go Wild introduced new safety processes, including requiring passengers to demonstrate the emergency landing position after boarding the plane.

The weather office has been contacted for comment.

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