The pilot of a hot air balloon that crashed in Texas, killing 16 people, was able to keep flying despite having at least four convictions for drunken driving in Missouri and twice spending time in prison. Whether the pilot’s drinking habits had anything to do with the crash was unclear. A former girlfriend described Alfred “Skip” Nichols as a recovering alcoholic. She said he had been sober for at least four years and never piloted a balloon after drinking. Nichols, who had been stripped of his driver’s license at least twice, “couldn’t drive a car but he could pilot a hot air balloon,” said an attorney who represented a passenger who sued Nichols in 2013. The passenger said she was hurt when Nichols crash-landed a balloon in the St. Louis suburbs. (AP) See more news-related photo galleries and follow us on Yahoo News Photo Tumblr.