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Pilot who died in hot air balloon incident in Ashland County identified

Posted at 10:41 PM, Jun 29, 2018

A hot air balloon pilot with the Ashland BalloonFest died Friday night following an incident.

According to officials, the 74-year-old pilot suffered a fatal injury when he hit his head on the burner while disassembling the balloon.

The pilot was identified as John Moran, 74. 

The Saturday morning competition flight was canceled as a result. The evening competition and festivities will continue as planned.

The Ashland Balloonfest committee released the following statement: 

The Ashland Balloonfest committee is saddened by the loss of Balloonist, John Moran.  John was a staple here at our event, this being his 23rd year with us.  John loved the sport and the ballooning community.  He will be deeply missed by so many. 

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. 

We will be honoring the memory of John tonight at our balloon glow, scheduled for 9:15 p.m. at Freer Field.

The FAA is investigating the incident.