Newlyweds Matt and Sunday Rowan were before the victims. Sunday Rowan bought the balloon flight for her husband as a birthday gift last year and it had taken them a while to schedule it. Alfred Nichols who was the pilot and owned the business was described as a “safe, competent pilot”. It was a planned one hour flight Its launch was delayed by as much as 20 minutes for unknown yet reasons.
This was the most fatal hot air balloon crash in U.S. history and the world’s deadliest hot air balloon accident killing 19 people occurred 20 years ago in Egypt. It is unclear whether Heart of Texas Hot Air Balloon Rides implemented any of the NTSB’s recommended measures for safe flights with hot air balloons. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families, as well as the Lockhart community,” Governor Greg Abbott said in a statement.