On April 12, 2012, about 1900 central daylight time, an Aerostar International Inc., Raven S49A balloon, N70451, impacted powerlines while landing at Janesville, Wisconsin. The pilot was not injured and the passenger received minor burn injuries. The balloon was substantially damaged. The balloon was registered to and operated by Bushelle Aerial Photography LLC, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, as a personal flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The local flight departed an off-airport location in Janesville, Wisconsin, about 1840.

According to the pilot he attempted to abort his landing when he saw he was getting too close to the powerlines. He said he used a “continuous burn” to abort the landing; however, when it became apparent that the balloon would still hit the powerlines, he initiated an emergency descent. The balloon hit the powerlines which caused an arc flash that burned the lower twenty percent of the balloon envelope. The arcing also damaged the steel envelope suspension cables and completely severed one.

The basket descended to the ground and remained upright. The partially inflated envelope draped over the powerlines and after the envelope had deflated and was clear of the powerlines, the pilot and passenger exited the basket.

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