Update: Balloon inspector says it had good equipment - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Update: Balloon inspector says it had good equipment

Posted: Updated:
(AP) -

A Texas hot air balloon business owner who also does inspections says the balloon that crashed, killing 16, had "very good equipment, very new equipment."

Philip Bryant runs Ballooning Adventures of Texas in Richmond, which also does manufacturer-mandated inspections and maintenance for other operators.

He said Skip Nichols brought his balloon into his inspection facility in May 2014 and was issued a one-year recertification.

Bryant said the manufacturer of Nichols' balloon mandates an annual inspection, and that the state of Texas does not inspect or regulate them.

Bryant said Nichols told him he moved from the St. Louis area to Central Texas because there was less competition.

Bryant said flying balloons in Texas can be problematic since hot temperatures create rising moisture in the air, meaning it's only possible to fly for about two hours after sunrise.

The crash happened about 7:40 a.m. Saturday.

He speculated that pilot error likely contributed because the equipment was in good shape.

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