On Friday, December 8, 2016, the NTSB will be holding an investigative hearing regarding the Lockart, TX Hot Air Balloon accident earlier this year.
On July 30, 2016, at 7:42 AM CST, a Kubicek BB85Z model hot air balloon, operated by Heart of Texas Balloons, hit electrical transmission lines and crashed into a pasture near Lockhart, TX. The pilot and all 15 passengers on board the balloon were killed by the impact and ensuing fire, and the balloon was destroyed. According to witness and weather observation information, there were low clouds and fog in the general area at the time of the accident.
The flight was a commercial sightseeing tour flight and was operated under the provisions of 14 CFR part 91.
The focus of the investigative hearing will be discussing both the circumstances of the flight and accident and the safety issues regarding commercial balloon tour operation. As part of the discussion, the NTSB will be covering the following areas:
The hearing will be held on December 9, 2016, at 9 AM EST, and will be open to the public. For those interested in attending the hearing in person, it will be held in the NTSB’s Board Room and Conference Center located at 429 L’Enfant Plaza E., S.W., Washington, DC, 20024. A live webcast of the hearing will also be available on the NTSB website shortly before the meeting starts, and an archive of the webcast will be available within a few days after the hearing, for a three month period.