Poor weather and the pilot's medical condition, including use of sedating drugs, were among the critical factors discussed Friday during the NTSB's hearing on the July 30 hot-air balloon crash in Texas that killed 16 people. The balloon, piloted by Alfred “Skip” Nichols, owner of Heart of Texas Balloons, struck power lines and ignited a fire, killing the pilot and all 15 passengers on a sightseeing tour near Lockhart.
AOPA announced Friday it will expand its Regional Fly-In series next year to two-day events around the country, starting with an April fly-in to kick off the season. Each fly-in will run from Friday morning through Saturday afternoon to give attendees more time and additional workshops, clinics, forums and events to choose from.
John Glenn, a lifelong pilot and public figure who is best known as the first American astronaut to orbit the Earth, died Thursday at 95. The retired military airman and four-term U.S. senator was hospitalized in Columbus, Ohio, about a week ago in declining health. Glenn, a native of Cambridge in eastern Ohio, is the state's "ultimate hometown hero, and his passing today is an occasion for all of us to grieve," Ohio Gov. John Kasich tweeted.