Return to the incident list: Incident List Fall, Hard Landing, Wing Deflation PPG Type: Type of Injury:
Age: 0 Weight: 215 Gender: Highest rating held at the time of the incident: Pilot experience level:
Wing Brand: Model: Sky Atis (m) Size: Paramotor Frame: Walker Jet RR with
January 1, 2006 Location of the incident: , Type of Incident:
I’m writing this two hours after what could have been a deadly experience. Paramotoring is an addicting sport. That’s ok I guess, as long as it doesn’t get in the way of good sound judgment. As with all addictions, wanting something too much can be disastrous.
I have been flying paramotors for 10 months and have 38 hours. I love to fly and do just about every chance I get, which isn’t often enough. Today was one of those chances that I shouldn’t have taken. I hadn’t flown in a week due to the weather and a broken spark plug wire, and it has been about three weeks since I was able to fly for any length of time. Today I was off of work and fixed the spark plug wire. The problem was the time was 12 noon. I had plans for the evening and wouldn’t be able to fly. There was very little wind. Although I knew that it could be dangerous flying in the middle of the day, I didn’t think it would be a problem since there was very little wind. I was wrong! Almost dead wrong!
I did a forward launch and got up to about 150 feet and suddenly, very suddenly, I was twisted around. I was in the process of crossing my legs to help with rotor and checking to make sure everything was in order, (risers, clips, etc.) when I encountered a very strong thermal, a gust of upward wind. It lifted me up, unloading my wing and causing a collapse and riser twist. After the riser twist, I was in a steep left hand turn. I tried to apply right break but there was no response. At first it felt like half the wing was flying but shortly thereafter, it stalled and down I came, very fast and very hard. I did manage to turn the engine off, but I could not slow the decent and I hit the ground at an angle and on my left side. Thanks be to GOD, I am still alive. I also feel like the design of the Walker Jet that I was flying, helped prevent me from life threatening injuries.
To my knowledge as of right now, I only have several deep painful bruises and scrapes, a stiff back and a battered ego. The cage is broken, the frame is bent and the prop is history. The engine needs to be checked out to determine if any damage was done to it.
Don’t fly in the middle of the day without thermal training. We are told to fly in the morning and evening for a reason. Thermals can be deadly!
When you encounter a collapse, don’t apply any break, even through you are in a steep turn. Reduce power, (which I did) release the breaks, (which I didn’t) and the wing should start flying again, at least that’s what I’m told. I haven’t practiced this myself and right now I don’t care to.
When I landed, I hit the back of my head on the frame. A helmet would have prevented a headache.
I’m alive and will fly again, but not in the middle of the day without proper thermal training.
P.S. I forget to mention that I landed 35 yards from a pond and 50 yards from a barbwire fence. The whole episode only took about 7 seconds, but I did have time to pray, “Help me Jesus!” He did, and I’m eternally grateful.
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