NTSB to determine cause of deadly Lockhart balloon crash in October

Hot air balloon crash in Lockhart. (Courtesy: WOAI)
Hot air balloon crash in Lockhart. (Courtesy: WOAI)

WASHINGTON (KXAN) — As the one year anniversary of the hot air balloon crash in Lockhart that killed 16 people approaches, the National Transportation Safety Board says it will hold a board meeting to determine the probable cause for the crash in October.

On the morning of July 30, 2016, balloon pilot Alfred “Skip” Nichols lifted into the Central Texas sky with 15 passengers on board while his ground crew with Heart of Texas Balloon Rides kept watch on the ground.

While up in the air, the passengers on board took photos of the beautiful sunrise and shared it on social media. Less than one hour into the flight and about 8 miles from where the balloon took off, the balloon struck high voltage power lines and crashed into a field around 7:42 a.m. The NTSB said it appeared Nichols was preparing to land when he hit the utility lines.

The NTSB will use the board meeting to determine the cause of the crash and issue any safety recommendations to prevent future accidents. A synopsis of the facts and analysis will also be released following the meeting. A full report on the accident will be released several weeks later.

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