Pilot in balloon crash was intoxicated, FAA saysPosted by On




National

“Nicholas Meleski obviously didn’t take into consideration all of the people whose lives he destroyed due to his drug use.”

The balloon struck power lines at 7:07 a.m. about 6 miles west of the Albuquerque International Sunport airport, causing the gondola to separate from the balloon’s envelope and fall about 100 feet. AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File

The pilot of a hot air balloon that crashed into power lines in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in June, killing him and all four passengers, had cocaine and marijuana in his system, according to a toxicology report made public Wednesday.

Blood and urine samples taken from the pilot, Nicholas Meleski, 62, showed the presence of the drugs, the Federal Aviation Administration said in the report, which the agency released as part of a public records request.

Although alcohol was not detected in the samples, cocaethylene, a compound created when the liver metabolizes cocaine in the presence of ethanol, was also detected in his urine but not his blood. The FAA did not comment beyond the report.

The balloon piloted by Meleski struck power lines at 7:07 a.m. local time June 26 about 6 miles west of the Albuquerque International Sunport airport, causing the gondola to…

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National

“Nicholas Meleski obviously didn’t take into consideration all of the people whose lives he destroyed due to his drug use.”

The balloon struck power lines at 7:07 a.m. about 6 miles west of the Albuquerque International Sunport airport, causing the gondola to separate from the balloon’s envelope and fall about 100 feet. AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File

The pilot of a hot air balloon that crashed into power lines in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in June, killing him and all four passengers, had cocaine and marijuana in his system, according to a toxicology report made public Wednesday.

Blood and urine samples taken from the pilot, Nicholas Meleski, 62, showed the presence of the drugs, the Federal Aviation Administration said in the report, which the agency released as part of a public records request.

Although alcohol was not detected in the samples, cocaethylene, a compound created when the liver metabolizes cocaine in the presence of ethanol, was also detected in his urine but not his blood. The FAA did not comment beyond the report.

The balloon piloted by Meleski struck power lines at 7:07 a.m. local time June 26 about 6 miles west of the Albuquerque International Sunport airport, causing the gondola to…



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