Pilot in Va balloon crash remembered as pro

Hot Air Balloon Fire

DOSWELL, Va. (AP) — The Delaware man who piloted a hot air balloon that caught fire and crashed about 25 miles north of Richmond on Friday had decades of flying experience.

The website of Daniel T. Kirk’s company says he had more than 20 years’ experience as a hot air balloon pilot and had flown in ballooning events throughout the country. The Starship Adventures website also said that Kirk had a commercial balloon pilot license issued by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Kirk’s father, Donald Kirk, confirmed that his son was the pilot of the doomed balloon.

Fellow pilots said Daniel Kirk was known affectionately as “Capt. Kirk,” the hammy commander of the USS Enterprise on the TV series Star Trek.

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