World Media

Hot air balloon crash pilot had numerous drink-driving and drug convictions

Hot air balloon crash pilot had numerous drink-driving and drug convictions”

But the weekend accident that killed 16 people in Texas is a reminder that ballooning isn't the safest way to spend an afternoon.

NTSB member Robert Sumwalt said the immediate focus of the investigation would be gathering witness testimony, starting with the ground crew on Monday.

VIDEO: Family fears loved ones were on board crashed balloonAuthorities say the balloon, which was operated by Heart of Texas Hot Air Balloon Rides, hit high-tension power lines before crashing into a pasture Saturday near Lockhart, about 60 miles northeast of San Antonio. The balloon clippped power lines at around 7:42 a.m., and the first call to 911 came in around a minute later, he said.

It reportedly was foggy after Saturday morning's accident, but that it wasn't clear what the weather was like during the flight itself.

The ex-girlfriend of a hot air balloon pilot involved in a deadly Texas crash says he was in recovery for alcoholism and had been sober at least four years.

Lirette, the ground crew supervisor for the balloon operator, Heart of Texas Hot Air Balloon Rides, described Nichols as his "best friend, boss and roommate". The family members of the Rowans were some of the first to confirm the couple was on board - alongside a preschool teacher, her husband and a mother/daughter duo celebrating a belated Mother's Day - as officials scrambled to notify families, a process made more hard because there was no official participant list to ease the confirmation process, reported the Associated Press.

A former girlfriend of Mr Nichols told the Austin Statesman news site he was highly experienced and took safety very seriously.

Harry Potter and the Curse of Growing Up
But one reveal in particular has readers annoyed, or at least perplexed (stop here if you don't want any spoilers). There may be a new play featuring Harry Potter , which has seemingly inspired another book , his creator, J.K.

"The NTSB feels there needs to greater oversight by the regulator", or the FAA, he said. "They were unbelievable people and they were full of life and full of joy", Josh Rowan said.

A GoFundMe for the Brian and Tressie Neill, 45 and 43, identified them as passengers, saying that they were celebrating their 23rd annive and leave behind two daughters, 20 and 16.

"All of us were sort of calling them and texting them and messaging them and just trying to get anything back and just sort of time went on and we didn't hear anything", Josh Rowan said of his brother and sister-in-law. He said the pilot was licensed to fly the balloon, but that it was too soon to say whether he had a criminal history.

Following his 2010 conviction for drink-driving, he was sentenced to seven years behind bars and was released on parole in January 2012 after less than a year and a half. Operators must also keep maintenance records for the balloon, heating units, and other equipment.

The deadliest hot air balloon crash in United States history has resurfaced calls by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to further regulate hot air ballooning.

According to an online Federal Aviation Administration database, Alfred G. Nichols of Chesterfield, Missouri, was medically certified to fly in July 1996 and was rated a commercial pilot of lighter-than-airballoons on July 14, 2010. She checked the news and saw there had been a balloon accident.

In April 2014, Deborah Hersman, then the chairman of the NTSB, sent a letter to FAA Administrator Michael P. Huerta calling for greater oversight on commercial balloon operators.

Matt Damon's "Jason Bourne" takes 1st spot at box office
In this latest installment, Bourne finally gets his memory back, but he still doesn't have the whole picture. The seemingly strong return of the " Bourne " franchise with "Jason Bourne" doesn't disprove that.

More is also being learned about the victims of the doomed balloon.

"I looked around and it was like a fireball going up", she said, noting that the fireball was under large power lines and nearly high enough to reach the bottom of them.

She said that after she and Nichols broke up, they remained friends, and she helped him move to Texas in 2014.

She added an emoji heart.

A police officer from Missouri said to the Associated Press that Nichols had been arrested in 2000 on a charge of felony driving while intoxicated.

The scene of the fatal balloon crash can be seen from a distance above.

Buffalo Bills sign Reggie Bush to 1-year contract
A person with direct knowledge of the situation confirmed that Bush is expected to sign with Buffalo should he pass his physical. The person spoke to The Associated Press Monday on the condition of anonymity because the Bills have not announced their plans.

Like this


03 August 2016
Jimmy Fallon set to host 2017 Golden Globe Awards
Fallon, who's hosted " The Tonight Show " since February 2014, previously hosted the 2010 Primetime Emmy Awards. NBC has recruited a well-known face from inside the peacock family to host the next Golden Globes .

02 August 2016
Lea Michele: 'I love myself, flaws and all'
Michele paid tribute to Monteith , her late boyfriend and Glee co-star, by getting his Glee character's name, Finn , tattooed. Michele says she makes "some macaroni cheese, calls my mom, pours a glass of red wine and watches some reality television".

02 August 2016
Registered Developers Can Now Download iOS 10 Beta 4 From Apple
More than one hundred new and redesigned emoji characters will be available to iPhone and iPad users this Fall with iOS 10. The company is expected to release final versions of most of these betas to the public later this year.

02 August 2016
Jay Bruce to Mets
Despite my recent post about how the Mets should be sellers (I know they read it, I just know), they went ahead and bought anyway. Bruce is owed $4.3 million on his contract through the end of the season and has a $13 million option for the 2017 season.

01 August 2016
Rain postpones Sprint Cup race at Pocono until Monday
This week, they will buckle up and compete on Pocono Raceway's 2.5 mile tri-oval known as the "Tricky Triangle". Gordon is racing for Dale Earnhardt Jr., who is suffering from concussion-like symptoms.

01 August 2016
Texans star WR DeAndre Hopkins not at training camp
Right now, DeAndre Hopkins is making a million a year, which is an obscenely low price for a player of his caliber. Strong has looked noticeably quicker at camp while seeing increased reps with DeAndre Hopkins holding out.

31 July 2016
Turkey's Erdogan dropping lawsuits for insults against him
Turkey announced a military reshuffle on Thursday evening, including the dishonourable discharge of 1,700 military servicemen. It has also attempted to shut down news outlets.

30 July 2016
Pakistan slumps to 47-2 after England setup 565-run target
Despite being one of the younger players in the side, he already has senior status and plays like a leader of men. Steven Finn, who played the first Test has been called in place of Stokes.

30 July 2016
Padres starters Cashner, Rea to Marlins in 7-player deal
Given a feverish demand for pitching, though, his best three-start stretch of the year arrived at a convenient juncture. Naylor has spent this season with the Low-A Greensboro Grasshopper, hitting.269 with a.317 OBP and.430 slugging mark.

30 July 2016
Wichita Area Hospitals Rated Average Or Better For Quality Of Care
Nationally, Medicare gave five stars to 102 hospitals, four to 934 hospitals, three stars to 1,770 and one star to 133. Kate Goodrich, the CMS director of the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality, wrote in a blog post Wednesday.