Fox 7 Discussion: NTSB report says pilot may have been impaired while operating hot air balloon

- Investigators said the pilot in the deadly hot air balloon crash near Lockhart was probably impaired by opioids and sedatives when he ignored weather warnings and flew into a power line.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) held a hearing in D.C Tuesday.

That's where they unveiled their findings of the July 2016 crash involving pilot Alfred "Skip" Nichols.

A doctor said there was enough over-the-counter antihistamine benadryl in his system to mimic "the blood-alcohol level" of a drunk driver.

On top of that, he was on valium and oxycodone. 

Nichols had at least four prior convictions for drunken driving.

Investigators said before the flight, he was given a weather briefing that clouds may be a problem, but he brushed off the warning.

Sixteen people including Nichols died in the crash.

Investigators scolded the Federal Aviation Administration for lax enforcement of the ballooning industry.

They also recommended that balloon pilots submit to the same medical checks as airplane pilots.

FOX 7’s Ashley Paredez talks to Caldwell County Justice of the Peace Matt Kiely about the NTSB findings and what issues he saw when he was at the balloon crash scene.

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