Carterton, Wairarapa, NZ, March 2014: Two years after the tragic Carterton hot air balloon crash, Balloons Over Wairarapa lifted off again… On January 7th 2012, a scenic hot air balloon flight, collided with a high voltage power line while attempting to land, causing it to catch fire, disintegrate and crash, killing all eleven people (ten passengers and the pilot) on board.

The tragedy was never far from the back of my mind as I attempted (rather unsuccessfully) to capture the morning lift/luft off in Carterton- shooting time-lapse sequences and video. The highlight/drawcard was the huge space shuttle balloon “Patriot”, flown by American Barry Dilibero. The doomed flight was the deadliest air disaster to occur in mainland New Zealand since the July 1963 crash of NZNAC flight 441 in the Kaimai Ranges. It is the third-deadliest hot air balloon disaster on record after a 2013 balloon crash in Egypt that killed 19 people,and the 1989 crash in the Northern Territory, Australia that killed 13.

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