| New Zealand News | Thursday May 10 2012 14:57
The hot air balloon community says there's no issue of drug taking in the industry.
An interim report into the Carterton tragedy that killed 11 people in January has revealed the 53-year-old pilot Lance Hopping had cannabis in his system.
Balloon Association New Zealand president Martyn Stacey says he'd known Mr Hopping for many years and would never have imagined he'd be a drug user.
Mr Stacey is completely shocked to think Mr Hopping would use drugs.
"We don't know how much is there and what that's going to do or how it's going to affect his flying or anything else. His crew certainly didn't give any indications that the guy was out of his tree in any way."
He says this isn't at all indicative of the ballooning or aviation industry.
"Most of our balloon companies are family owned. I'd like to think that this is just one little glitch in the whole system.
"I don't think we have major drug users out there, certainly no signs of it show up at the fiestas and stuff we have."
Mr Stacey says many balloon companies do random drug tests on their employees.
Photo: Lance Hopping