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  1. #1
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    Officials Believe No Survivors in Texas Balloon Crash

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/h...texas-41015210

    Authorities say it is likely there are no survivors after a hot air balloon carrying at least 16 people caught on fire and crashed in Central Texas.

    The Caldwell County Sheriff's Office said in a statement Saturday that investigators are determining the number of victims and their identities.
    "What is more frightening than any particular policy or ideology is the widespread habit of disregarding facts.”
    --Thomas Sowell

  2. #2
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  3. #3
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  4. #4
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  5. #5
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    Jul 2009
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    Ugh....what a horrific way to die - I can't even imagine, nor do I want to. Prayers for those that passed, their families and loved ones.

  6. #6
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    Aug 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blondie in Spokane View Post
    Ugh....what a horrific way to die - I can't even imagine, nor do I want to. Prayers for those that passed, their families and loved ones.
    I know it's very tragic indeed. May the victims Rest In Peace.

  7. #7
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    Jun 2016
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    July 30, 2016
    14 minutes ago

    16 dead in hot air balloon crash in Lockhart

    More from KVUE

    http://www.kvue.com/mb/news/local/16...hart/284526260

    When emergency crews arrived on the scene, it was apparent that the basket portion of the hot air balloon had caught fire. Jolly Road has been closed until further notice as investigators work on the scene. The approximate location of the crash "can be seen in this link"

    No names of any fatalities will be released until next of kin has been notified.
    According to the Austin American-Statesman, the balloon company has been identified as Heart of Texas Hot Air Balloon Rides. Their website says that they service the Austin, San Antonio and Houston areas and up to 24 people were allowed on a flight.

  8. #8
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    Aug 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeeEm View Post
    July 30, 2016
    14 minutes ago

    16 dead in hot air balloon crash in Lockhart

    More from KVUE

    http://www.kvue.com/mb/news/local/16...hart/284526260

    When emergency crews arrived on the scene, it was apparent that the basket portion of the hot air balloon had caught fire. Jolly Road has been closed until further notice as investigators work on the scene. The approximate location of the crash "can be seen in this link"

    No names of any fatalities will be released until next of kin has been notified.
    According to the Austin American-Statesman, the balloon company has been identified as Heart of Texas Hot Air Balloon Rides. Their website says that they service the Austin, San Antonio and Houston areas and up to 24 people were allowed on a flight.
    Thanks for this news update. There was a lady interviewed on sky news UK who took a photo Of The balloon whilst going past on the motorway she said it was flying really low and looked it was struggling to gain height. The flame was apparently going constantly off and on. Another lady a neighbour near the crash site said she regularly saw hot air balloons in the area which makes me wonder why they are flying regularly near powerlines. I don't know if this can be avoided and I certainly don't blame the pilot who must have been desperately trying to prevent the tragedy.

  9. #9
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    Jun 2016
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregjrichards View Post
    Thanks for this news update. There was a lady interviewed on sky news UK who took a photo Of The balloon whilst going past on the motorway she said it was flying really low and looked it was struggling to gain height. The flame was apparently going constantly off and on. Another lady a neighbour near the crash site said she regularly saw hot air balloons in the area which makes me wonder why they are flying regularly near powerlines. I don't know if this can be avoided and I certainly don't blame the pilot who must have been desperately trying to prevent the tragedy.
    You are always welcome Greg, here is some more information just in 12 minutes ago:

    Close friends told KVUE that the pilot of the hot air balloon, Skip Nichols, was killed in the crash. According to his Facebook page, Nichols was the Chief Pilot for Heart of Texas Hot Air Balloon Rides.

    No other victims have been identified, pending the notification of next of kin.



    The balloon company has been identified as Heart of Texas Hot Air Balloon Rides. Their website says that they service the Austin, San Antonio and Houston areas and up to 24 people were allowed on a flight.

    The company is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau and has a D+ rating. On their BBB Business Review, Heart of Texas Hot Air Balloon Rides had six complaints with BBB in the last three years. The most recent complaint claimed that a flight reservation was rescheduled and the complainant was unable to get a refund from the company. Heart of Texas Hot Air Balloon Rides responded to the complaint, citing weather and their terms that customers agree to when they sign up for a flight.

    People who live near the crash scene described hearing a sound like an explosion.
    Margaret Wiley, who lives on Jolly Road near the crash scene, said, "I first thought the neighbors had a tractor out there and it exploded."
    Another neighbor, Don Schulle, also heard the crash. "I heard a loud, like a gunfire, explosion and a little bit later I heard another one."
    Schulle said he drove down the train tracks to see what was happening.
    "You could tell it was a fire, a big ball of flames," Schulle said.

    Governor Greg Abbott issued a statement on the crash


    http://www.kvue.com/mb/news/local/16...hart/284526260

  10. #10
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    Oct 2012
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    Coos Bay, Oregon
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregjrichards View Post
    Thanks for this news update. There was a lady interviewed on sky news UK who took a photo Of The balloon whilst going past on the motorway she said it was flying really low and looked it was struggling to gain height. The flame was apparently going constantly off and on. Another lady a neighbour near the crash site said she regularly saw hot air balloons in the area which makes me wonder why they are flying regularly near powerlines. I don't know if this can be avoided and I certainly don't blame the pilot who must have been desperately trying to prevent the tragedy.
    That sounds like the hot air balloon was operating normally and flying at a low elevation. Combined with reports that other balloon flights were cancelled due to high winds. It sounds to me like the balloon was functioning properly when it flew into the power lines, possibly as a result of high winds. That makes me think it was pilot error, possibly flying in unsafe conditions.

    I don’t see how not flying near power lines would be possible. The power lines are everywhere, at least in the US. It would be the pilots responsibility to keep the balloon above the power lines.


  11. #11
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    Jul 2008
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    12,222
    Appears to be here.

    https://www.google.com/maps/@29.8855.../data=!3m1!1e3

    http://post-register.com/local-news/...loon-incident/

    The crash, which was initially reported just before 8 a.m. on Saturday, is thought to have occurred when the balloon collided with the high-power transmission lines, in the area of Jolley Road at Cistern, near the Union Pacific Railroad Tracks.
    Just know one thing, I am the majority.

    Adios amego's

  12. #12
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    Jun 2016
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    July 31, 2016
    6:23 pm EDT

    Texas hot air balloon hit power lines before crash, NTSB says



    Sixteen victims

    Friends of three of the victims identified them Sunday. They include the pilot, Alfred "Skip" Nichols, and newlyweds Matt and Sunday Rowan.

    The Rowans got married in February, said Brent Jones, the father of Sunday's 5-year-old son, Jett. "Sunday was a very social person," Jones said. "They have hundreds and hundreds of friends."

    Sunday, Rowan bought the balloon flight for her husband as a birthday gift last year and it had taken them a while to schedule it, Jones said.

    "Sunday was messaging her mom before getting on the balloon. Soon after takeoff, she stopped all communication," he said.

    "It's hard, but I want everyone to understand how great our lives were together and how amazing these two people are."

    Alan 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."

    Philip Bryant, a balloon pilot, told CNN he knew Nichols.

    "I knew him to be a safe, competent pilot," Bryant said. "He has done this for a very long time."

    The NTSB said the identities of all of the victims would be made public later by local authorities.

    Electronic devices recovered

    The FBI has found 14 personal electronic devices from those aboard the balloon, Sumwalt said. They include cell phones, one iPad, and three cameras.

    The cameras, he said, are destroyed, but he said he hopes NTSB lab technicians can recover the images.









    https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.cnn...?client=safari

  13. #13
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    Jul 2009
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    Pictured: The new mom, medical researcher and preschool teacher who were among the 16 victims of the deadliest hot air balloon crash in US history

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...h-history.html

  14. #14
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    Jul 2009
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    Pilot of fatal Texas hot air balloon crash that killed 16 people had a history of ‘drink driving, drugs and business complaints

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...#ixzz4G53RHtW8

  15. #15
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    Jun 2016
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    August 1, 2016
    8:15 AM EDT


    Friend defends doomed Texas hot air balloon pilot

    The pilot of a hot air balloon that crashed in Texas and killed all 16 people aboard was arrested in Missouri in 2000 for driving while intoxicated, and the Better Business Bureau warned consumers about doing business with a balloon touring company he used to operate in that state.

    Authorities haven't publicly named anyone killed in the crash, saying it could take a while to identify the bodies. But Alfred "Skip" Nichols, 49, was identified as the pilot by his friend and roommate Alan Lirette, who said that Nichols was a good pilot.

    A Missouri officer, though, told The Associated Press that Nichols was arrested there in 2000 on a felony driving while intoxicated charge. The case was resolved two years later when he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor version of the charge.

    The officer said that based on photographs, he is confident the man arrested in Missouri is the same man who piloted the Texas balloon. Nichols had lived in Missouri before moving to Texas. He was known as "Skip" in both places and owned a hot air balloon touring company in St. Louis County at the time, said the officer, who spoke to the AP on condition that he not be identified because he was not authorized to comment publicly.













    https://www.google.com/amp/www.cbsne...?client=safari

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