Call Us - We're Easy to Talk To (214) 999-9999

NTSB Finds Texas Balloon Operator in Fatal Crash Was Impaired

The AP reports that at a federal hearing on a 2016 hot air balloon crash that killed 16 people in Texas, NTSB investigators said balloon operator Alfred “Skip” Nichols took sedatives and opioids that affected his abilities during the flight. The AP adds that Nichols had “at least four convictions for drunken driving and twice spent time in prison.”

Reuters reports that at the hearing, NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt accused the FAA of not providing adequate oversight. Sumwalt said, “I am disappointed that the FAA appears to be shirking its responsibility.” The NTSB “said the FAA should require medical certificates for balloon pilots and find ‘more effective ways to target oversight’ of balloon pilots ‘that pose the most significant safety risk to the public.’” Reuters reports that in July, the FAA rejected suggestions that more regulations are needed. In its report on the fatal accident, the FAA wrote that pilots who “consistently demonstrate willful noncompliance with federal aviation regulations pose a safety risk that cannot be controlled through additional regulations.”

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

Bob Kraft

I am a Dallas, Texas lawyer who has had the privilege of helping thousands of clients since 1971 in the areas of Personal Injury law and Social Security Disability.

About This Blog

The title of this blog reflects my attitude toward those government agencies and insurance companies that routinely mistreat injured or disabled people. As a Dallas, Texas lawyer, I've spent more than 45 years trying to help those poor folk, and I have been frustrated daily by the actions of the people on the other side of their claims. (Sorry if I offended you...)

If you find this type of information interesting or helpful, please visit my law firm's main website at You will find many more articles and links. Thank you for your time.

Find us on your preferred network