ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – On Sunday morning, state police identified the pilot of Saturday’s hot air balloon crash as Nicholas Meleski. He’s known for his “Izia” balloon seen at Balloon Fiesta. Meleski got his pilot’s license back in 1994.
As Albuquerque is a mecca for hot air ballooning, Saturday’s tragedy has been devastating for the tight-knit ballooning community. One balloonist told News 13 Meleski was an amazing person who cared for all and radiated positivity and uniqueness, and that he was an amazing pilot.