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  • 23

Balloon Carrying 16 crashes in Texas

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A hot air balloon with 16 people aboard crashed Saturday morning in central Texas after catching fire in flight. (www.cnn.com) More...

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joelwiley
joel wiley 6
Ths story lists the company as Heart of Texas Ballon Rides and reports it hit a power line.
http://abc13.com/news/hot-air-balloon-crash-kills-at-least-16-people-near-austin/1450063/
WeatherWise
WeatherWise 2
Just my humble thoughts...I am wondering if the nocturnal Low Level Jet, common this time of year over the southern plains and sometimes flowing as low as 500 feet AGL, might have had some bearing on this. Often times the LLJ doesn't mix out until after mid morning. NTSB reported yesterday there was a 500 foot broken stratus ceiling at the launch site. Passenger video taken 11 minutes prior to the accident showed patchy stratus and fog obscuring the terrain below. Media had interviewed another balloon operator who said he would never launch with that low of ceiling, especially with the abundance of power lines in the area. On the other hand, I'm going to assume balloon operators are going to be extremely cognizant of winds aloft in their area. This balloon ride had been canceled multiple times for weather conditions but I don't know if it was because of ceilings, winds, or both.
2018paulrobbinx
Paul Robbins 1
http://flightaware.com/photos/view/4633271-c2a03b88c96d1dfea09d3ac26a50a8a4fe96a623/user/2018paulrobbinx/sort/votes/page/1 This is a pic I took of the accident craft this may. My prayers are for all those efftect. This craft greeted me with a smile as I drove to school most mornings.
arunhn
Arun Nair 1
Why were there 16 people on a hot air balloon?!
arunhn
Arun Nair 13
After some research I realize that these things can carry up to 24 passengers. Always thought these baskets held 4-6 people max.
canuck44
canuck44 5
Large balloons like this are popular in East Africa as Balloon Safaris. Great for photogs as they are pretty much silent once aloft and in the early morning their slow speed and low altitude gives the Tourons superb opportunities like watching teh hippos return to the river or pond after grazing all night. No power lines there.
wopri
They're also very popular in Cappadocia in Turkey. There are so many in the area that it is a great show in itself to just watch them. The one Iwas on had space for 24 passengers and the pilot.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

WeatherWise
WeatherWise 11
He didn't "ask a stupid question", just stated a thought. Don't be a complete d*ck like that Peter Hartmann clown.
canuck44
canuck44 6
LOL...we now have a yardstick for complete dicks. Good choice but you forgot the "Esq" part.
WeatherWise
WeatherWise 6
Sorry, I realized my error too late! I should be flogged with a wet sectional for that...
canuck44
canuck44 3
You are forgiven and in the absence of Preacher, I hereby declare that to be the WeatherWise criteria with a scale of WW1 thru WW10, with that latter the ultimate.
WeatherWise
WeatherWise 6
I'll accept just being mentioned in the same comment with Preacher, a true honor!
jmilleratp
John Miller 2
That's a bit extreme! That would be getting truly Medieval on you. :-)
chalet
chalet 1
Why is it that right after an aircraft or ballon crashes everybody states that the pilot was very experienced, had logged thousands of hours flying safely, etc. without pausing a little bit. In the present case the pilot of the balloon he has had run ins with the pólice for driving under the influence and with Better Business Bureau which had warned about the way he conducted this Business. Read this https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/texas-balloon-pilot-had-arrested-dwi-2000-051831002.html
We have to wait until NTSB comes up with the appropriate findings.
Ruger9X19
Ruger9X19 5
I fail to see how a DUI from 16 years ago is relevant, and pretty sure the BBB is not a reliable source for a saying weather someone is safe or competent at what they do.
WeatherWise
WeatherWise 7
The pilot had 4 DUI's, previous drug charges and a parole violation. Sounds like someone who obviously doesn't learn from his mistakes and that's not the kind of person I'd trust my life with in any type of vehicle, airborne or otherwise.
Ruger9X19
Ruger9X19 4
The story has been updated since I read it yesterday. The only relevant facts as written then was a DUI charge in 2000 and a low BBB rating, with nothing more specific than that.
I will agree the pattern of behavior in the updated version is more troubling, still not sure it had anything to do with the accident. When I was in Albuquerque the annual balloon fiesta had tragic incidents with power lines from time to time, it is a huge risk when ballooning. I stand by the fact that the BBB rating is not reliable if had he paid their fee they would have given him an A+ regardless so they have a financial interest in hosting bad info on nonpaying businesses.
dwiggins01
Scott Wiggins 1
Until they find alcohol in his system, which I doubt, or have witnesses that say he left a bar drunk only hours before launching, what you are spreading is merely useless conjecture. You play right into a useless media narrative. FYI, millions of teenagers driving while texting are far more dangerous to the public than some guy giving rides in a hot air balloon. Nearly forty thousand people die on America's highways every year but a plane, or balloon crash as in this instance brings out the safety Nazis in droves.
donhun1313
donhun1313 4
Because it can be sensationalized, taken out of context, and otherwise be twisted by the media.

Saying that it crashed and that people will have to wait a year to find out why doesn't attract the internet trolls like wild speculation, innuendos, and outright lying does.
birtsjoe
Joe Birts -1
Why did the FFA refuse to regulate ballons when the NTSB requested it?
donhun1313
donhun1313 2
Too busy going after quad-copters and other hobbyist craft???
mdlacey
Matt Lacey 1
Risk management. Cost benefit analysis. FAA does it pretty well, where other agencies don't - too emotional, too much likelihood on hazards in the statisical wings. (Your life is worth $3.8M in the analysis.)
ah6oy
Jim DeTour 0
My first impression was figuring stuffing 16 people in even a large basket might of included covering the gas tanks with wicker thatching and people end up sitting on the tanks. That trick would have people sitting on the fuel feed lines giving rise to a bad leak that would light everyone on fire like it appears happened in one video I saw. Unbelievable.
garmanuav
garmanuav 0
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

Hot Air Balloon Crash

A hot air balloon went down in Texas this morning with at least 16 passengers, none of whom appear to have survived.

http://bigstory.ap.org/92411da518ef4bc3b5734e96cae7da10

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