A former operator of Air Balloon Sports of Chesterfield has been identified as the pilot in the deadly hot air balloon accident in Texas. The former St. Louis balloon pilot offered adventures for clients at sunrise near Interstate 44 and Missouri Highway 141. The pilot moved to Texas about five years ago to continue in hot air balloon excursions. According to authorities, he became a commercial pilot in 1990 and was known to participate in the Great Forest Park Balloon Race in St. Louis. The hot air balloon pilot was well liked in St. Louis and many speak highly of the man.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the fatal hot air balloon accident that left sixteen dead and no survivors. The accident occurred on Saturday morning, just 30 miles from Austin, Texas. The pilot was one of the sixteen killed in the crash. Investigators believe the hot air balloon struck electric wires, burst into flames and plummeted to the ground. Not all sixteen victim’s identities have been released. This is known as America’s worst hot air balloon accident in history.
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