An experienced hot-air balloon pilot from Italy died after losing balance and falling from a 10-metre (32 ft) height as a wind gust sent her balloon spiralling out of control.
Elisa Agnoleti, 39, tragically lost her life in the unpredicted accident in the Buonconvento community in the city of Sienna located in the central part of Italy.
According to local media, the incident in which the 39-year-old pilot, who was reportedly from the city of Cesena, lost her life happened in the early morning hours on Monday on 16th of August.
Elisa, who was known in the community for her flying passion, got her pilot license after conducting a two-year long hot-air balloon training in 2018.
Once she received her license she reported on her social media: “It is difficult to explain what I felt in my first flight alone after taking the license… It is an emotion that I will never forget, my heart beating very fast, total freedom from everything, lots of adrenaline and at the same time so much peace in the silence of heaven!”
Elisa, who owned a small vending business together with her husband, frequently posted photos of her flying experiences and often emphasized how “her life had changed after she obtained her license as she couldn’t help by keep her feet off the ground.”
On the day of the incident Elisa and her colleague Ivan were reportedly showing some tourists around by taking them on a hot-air balloon panoramic tour in the area.
After the tour was complete, Ivan and the tourists got off the balloon, while Elisa was the only one who remained inside when the lighter-than-air balloon that was already in the air was unexpectedly caught by a wind gust.
Elisa then tried to ground the flying balloon, but her attempts resulted in her losing her balance and falling out of the basket from a 10-metre (32 ft) height, suffering severe life-threatening injuries.
The incident was immediately reported to the emergency services whose crews intervened, however, the 39-year-old woman had already succumbed to her injuries.
Elisa’s colleague and the group of tourists were not harmed during the accident, according to local media.
The National Flight Safety Agency seized the balloon and opened an investigation to determine whether the incident was a result of a human mistake or a result of the sudden increase of the wind speed.