AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The U.S. House has approved a measure requiring medical checks for commercial hot air balloon pilots in an effort to avoid a reoccurrence of a 2016 crash that killed 16 people in Texas.
The House voted Friday on a wide-ranging Federal Aviation Administration bill that includes a provision requiring medical checks similar to those required for helicopter and airline pilots.
The vote comes after federal investigators last year scolded the FAA for lax oversight in the wake of the deadliest hot air balloon crash in U.S. history.
The National Transportation Safety Board has determined that Alfred "Skip" Nichols was probably impaired by Valium, opioids and other drugs before the takeoff south of Austin.
The Senate has yet to consider its own version of the legislation.