Doggett:FAA still failing hot air balloon crash victims
Five years after the deadliest commercial balloon crash in United States history occurred in Caldwell County, near Lockhart, U.S. Congressman Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) says the Federal Aviation Administration is still failing to require hot air balloon operators to get medical certificates.
The Congressman’s complaint may seem surprising, given that former President Donald Trump signed a bill containing legislation designed to prevent medically unfit pilots from causing balloon crashes in 2018, effectively making it the law.
The balloon crash that killed 16 people outside Lockhart in July 2016 is among the deadliest in U.S. history and the deadliest aviation disaster since 2009. The Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2018, which was signed into law in November 2018, contained an amendment requiring medical certifications for hot air balloon pilots.
However, the FAA is still not complying with the law meant to protect hot air balloon riders, making “nothing but excuses for inaction,” the congressman said in a scathing written statement released on Friday — the five-year anniversary of the deadly crash.
Read what he had to say in this week’s Post-Register.