Hot-Air Balloon Pilot Killed in Crash from Kent County - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Hot-Air Balloon Pilot Killed in Crash from Kent County

Posted: Updated:
DOVER, Del. - The pilot of a hot-air balloon that crashed in Virginia, killing him and two other people, was from Kent County, Del.

Capt. Daniel T. Kirk lived and worked in Hartly with his wife. His parents, Donald and Verna Kirk, live in nearby Dover.

Kirk operated a balloon business, Starship Adventures LLC. On Friday, his balloon drifted into a power line, burst into flames and fell onto a heavy wooded area 25 miles north of Richmond, Va. Two University of Richmond basketball coaches who were riding in the balloon also died in the crash. They were director of basketball operations Natalie Lewis and associate head coach Ginny Doyle.

Donald and Verna Kirk said they were very proud of their son, who was also an Army veteran.

"I'd flown with him a lot and he was a very safe pilot, he served his country for 30 something years and retired back in Delaware here to be near us," Donald Kirk, 86, said. "Of course we think we was an amazing son, ballooning was the love of his life, and this accident had to happen and I guess we have to accept it."

The day before the tragic accident, Daniel Kirk delivered roses as an early Mother's Day present to his mom.

Verna Kirk, 89, said thinking back on it, she is shocked he brought them just before he passed away. She said she is thankful she got to spend time with him.

"If I needed him I called him and he would be here if at all possible," Donald Kirk said. "Anything that I needed done he would come."
Donald Kirk also said he rode in the balloon with his son over 40 times and enjoyed every minute of it.

"He loved it, he loved it, and that's the greatest feeling I have that he was doing what he loved," he said. "We could go out here tomorrow and be in an automobile accident, and that was an accident but he was actually doing what he loved."

Capt. Daniel Kirk was in his late 60s and had two children.
  • Delmarvawide NewsDelmarvawide NewsMore>>

  • Tourism Season Extending, Chamber Says

    Tourism Season Extending, Chamber Says

    Monday, September 1 2014 6:42 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:42:36 GMT
    Labor Day is often considered the unofficial ending to the summer season, but the Rehoboth Beach, Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce is reporting that tourism is actually on the rise during the typically less popular months of September, October and November.More
    Labor Day is often considered the unofficial ending to the summer season, but the Rehoboth Beach, Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce is reporting that tourism is actually on the rise during the typically less popular months of September, October and November.
    More
  • Flying History Lands in Salisbury

    Flying History Lands in Salisbury

    Monday, September 1 2014 4:50 PM EDT2014-09-01 20:50:06 GMT
    A flying piece of history landed in Salisbury on Monday morning and will call the airport home for the next week.  A B-17 bomber, part of the Commemorative Air Force, landed in Salisbury and is open to tours and even flights for visitors.More
    A flying piece of history landed in Salisbury on Monday morning and will call the airport home for the next week.  A B-17 bomber, part of the Commemorative Air Force, landed in Salisbury and is open to tours and even flights for visitors. More
  • Dover Police Looking for Apartment Burglary Suspect

    Dover Police Looking for Apartment Burglary Suspect

    Monday, September 1 2014 4:30 PM EDT2014-09-01 20:30:16 GMT
    Dover police are looking for a male suspect who broke into an apartment building Friday.More
    Dover police are looking for a male suspect who broke into an apartment building Friday.More
Powered by WorldNow

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service