The inquest into the Carterton Balloon Tragedy is set to
continue today at Wellington District Court.
All 11 people on board were killed when a balloon crashed
into power lines and caught on fire near Carterton on January
Coroner Peter Ryan was given evidence from emergency
officers, forensic experts, witnesses and family members in
May, before the inquest was adjourned.
This was to allow for evidence to be given by unrelated
The Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) has
already established that pilot errors were ultimately
responsible for the balloon crash.
At the time, Carterton pilot Lance Hopping, 53, had cannabis
in his system.
While a raft of recommendations have been made to address
this, legislation specifically implementing mandatory random
drug testing has not been passed -- adding to the
frustrations of families involved.
At the moment, aviation adventure operators are required to
ensure staff whose work directly affects the safety of the
operation are drug- and alcohol-free in the workplace.
The TAIC investigation report highlighted a previous
"concern" raised with the Civil Aviation Authority about Mr
Hopping and the cancellation of a balloon flight due to his
appearance of being "too pissed/and or high".