Federal agency urged FAA to regulate hot air balloons - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Federal agency urged FAA to regulate hot air balloons

CAROLINE, VA (WWBT) -

Just one month before a fatal hot air balloon crash in Caroline County, the federal government was calling on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to regulate hot air balloon tours.

According to a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) database, the US averages about 13 hot air balloon crashes each year. Since 1964, 114 people have died in 67 incidents.

Just last month, home video captured a hot air balloon crashing into power lines in Indiana. Miraculously, none of the six people on board were seriously injured.

The NTSB has been watching the hot air balloon industry closely, analyzing data for months. On April 7, almost exactly one month before the tragedy in Doswell, the NTSB issued a letter to the FAA urging the agency to take action.

In her letter, the chairwoman said,  "The NTSB believes that air tour balloon operators should be subject to greater regulatory oversight," similar to what is provided for passengers of helicopters and planes.

The letter noted that the United States had not had a recent major balloon disaster, but pointed to last year's fire on a balloon in Egypt that killed 19 of the 21 passengers on board.

A review of federal records shows wind, trees, power lines and buildings were all causes in many of the more serious balloon crashes in this country.

The Balloon Federation of America, a group that lobbies on behalf of the hot air balloon industry, issued a statement last month calling the NTSB recommendations "unnecessary and burdensome."

The NTSB asked the FAA to respond to its letter and recommendations by July.

Both agencies are now looking into the tragedy in Doswell.

Copyright 2014 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.

  • Have a 12 Investigates news tip?

    Have a news tip you want NBC12 to investigate? Complete the form or send an email to investigators@nbc12.com.

    * denotes required fields



    We're sorry, but only one entry is allowed per person.
    Thank you for your continued interest.

    Thank you for alerting us to this story.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Homeless man gets makeover from big-hearted cops

    Homeless man gets makeover from big-hearted cops

    Tuesday, April 25 2017 2:44 PM EDT2017-04-25 18:44:10 GMT
    Tuesday, April 25 2017 3:49 PM EDT2017-04-25 19:49:50 GMT

    Police officers in Rome, NY, went the extra mile to give back to their community, helping one in need.

    More >>

    Police officers in Rome, NY, went the extra mile to give back to their community, helping one in need.

    More >>
  • Police identify driver killed in Hanover crash

    Police identify driver killed in Hanover crash

    Sunday, April 30 2017 10:13 AM EDT2017-04-30 14:13:12 GMT

    One person has died after a two-vehicle crash in western Hanover County Saturday night.

    More >>

    Police have identified the driver killed in a two-vehicle crash in Hanover.

    More >>
  • 'The Phantom' serial killer of children out of prison, living in Tucson

    'The Phantom' serial killer of children out of prison, living in Tucson

    Thursday, April 27 2017 12:17 AM EDT2017-04-27 04:17:43 GMT
    Friday, April 28 2017 11:32 PM EDT2017-04-29 03:32:02 GMT
    Convicted killer William Huff was spotted riding his bicycle through a Tucson neighborhood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)Convicted killer William Huff was spotted riding his bicycle through a Tucson neighborhood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

    William Huff terrorized Sierra Vista during the spring and summer of 1967. Despite a sentence of 40 years to life, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted to release him from prison into home arrest. Family members of the victims are concerned for the safety of the community, as are new members of the Clemency Board. CBS 5 Investigates videotaped Huff riding a bike through his Tucson neighborhood. There are no restrictions placed on his proximity to children.

    More >>

    William Huff terrorized Sierra Vista during the spring and summer of 1967. Despite a sentence of 40 years to life, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted to release him from prison into home arrest. Family members of the victims are concerned for the safety of the community, as are new members of the Clemency Board. CBS 5 Investigates videotaped Huff riding a bike through his Tucson neighborhood. There are no restrictions placed on his proximity to children. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly