New Details on Pilot in Fatal Hot Air Balloon Crash

Investigators say the pilot steering the balloon that crashed and killed 15 people had four drunken driving convictions and had spent time in prison.
1:49 | 08/02/16

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Transcript for New Details on Pilot in Fatal Hot Air Balloon Crash
to new questions about the deadly hot air balloon crash in U.S. His that that killed 16 people. The pilot had been convicted of drunken driving four times. ABC's David Kerley is in Lockhart, Texas, with more on this. Good morning, David. Reporter: Good morning, robin. A foggy morning here in Texas. You can see the memorial that's been set up, the families were here at the site yesterday. There are no indications that the pilot's past had anything to do with this accident. But it raises broad questions about licensing as investigators try to figure out why this balloon crashed. This morning, the covered remains of the balloon and gondola are in Dallas for further examination as we learn more about the past of the pilot at the controls. 49-year-old skip Nichols had been arrested four types for drunk driving and served time in prison twice. A former girlfriend said he was a recovering alcoholic. Balloon pilots are not required to hold an FAA medical certificate to fly. But they are expected to self-report convictions. Safety officials say that's not enough. Should they be held to a different standard than somebody who is flying an airplane for hire on air tour operations or helicopters, so, so we do see this discontinuity. Reporter: Investigators say evidence suggests after flying above the clouds and fog the pilot was trying to land when the gondola hit and then ran along the top transmission lines bursting into flames and fallen about ten stories to the ground Saturday killing all 16 on board. Now, investigators had hoped the ground crew, the tracking crew would actually be able to tell them whether or not the conditions were like this when the balloon came down. They knew it was coming down but didn't know where and actually drove around for an hour looking for the balloon after it had already crashed, robin. Thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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