U.S. FAA proposes requiring balloon pilots to hold medical certificates

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A blistery aerial balloon carrying passengers floats past a rising satellite arsenic the outbreak of the coronavirus illness (COVID-19) continues, successful Cardiff, California, August 30, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

WASHINGTON, Nov 2 (Reuters) - The Federal Aviation Administration said Tuesday it was proposing requiring commercialized hot-air-balloon pilots to clasp aesculapian certificates aft a balloon clang successful 2016 that was the deadliest U.S. aviation clang since 2009.

The National Transportation Safety committee antecedently criticized the FAA successful its probe of the July 2016 Texas balloon clang that killed 16 people. A balloon deed a powerfulness enactment and plummeted successful flames into a pasture adjacent Lockhart, astir 30 miles (50 km) southbound of the authorities superior Austin.

Investigators said the balloon aviator and proprietor of the balloon, who was killed successful the crash, flew successful upwind conditions beneath required ocular formation regularisation minimums and did not disclose a bid of cause and intoxicant related arrests dating backmost to 1987. He did not person a valid driver’s licence astatine the clip of the clang and had been incarcerated twice.

Balloon pilots are presently not required to get a aviator aesculapian certificate, but cannot run if they person definite aesculapian conditions.

In 2018, Congress directed the FAA to revise the aesculapian certification standards for commercialized balloon pilots. The FAA's projected regularisation would mandate a second-class aesculapian certificate, the aforesaid modular required for commercialized pilots.

Reporting by David Shepardson Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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