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Wing Stall. Dropped 40 feet and hit the ground.

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Pilot Details

Age: 56
Weight: 185
Gender:
Highest rating held at the time of the incident:
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Gear Details

Wing Brand:
Model: Apco Thrust XL, DHV 1-2
Size:
Paramotor Frame: Generac, 4 stroke. with

Incident Details

June 10, 2012
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Type of Incident
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A wing can stall without applying to much brake pressure. Some think a wing stall can only happen with to much brake pressure, WRONG. A fellow pilot took my picture moments before I crashed and my hands were up. I wanted to share a couple of lessons I learned after my wing stalled 4-6-12 and again on 4-29-12. When the first stall occurred I was flying at about 550 feet and the air was a little rough. All the sudden my wing went behind me and pulled me backwards. I dropped approximately 400 feet before my wing totally recovered and I was flying again. I had the trims pulled all the way in. At that time I could not determine the cause of the wing stall. One change I did make at that time was making a quick disconnect to disconnect my A assists after I am in the air. The A assists did not cause the stall as they were totally slack when I was flying. But having them disconnected after take off helps when landing in strong wind. I continued to fly with the wing until 4-29-12 when I had another stall flying with the group at Christmas FL. This time I was only 40 feet up. Winds were calm. When the wing stalled I hit the ground in a few seconds. I had the wing inspected and they found some lines had stretched 10 cm, it was not symmetrical, and not flyable. Lesson learned: This wing stall was caused by pilot error because I failed to get my wing inspected in a timely manner. I found out your lines can stretch and shrink depending on many different factors including, how many hours you fly, how aggressive take off and landings are, and how you store the wing. Please have your wing inspected once a year or every 100 hours of flight, which ever comes first. I had over 160 hours and over a year since my last inspection. Another lessoned learned: My wing was harder to launch over the past few months. I had to shorten my A assists to compensate. This should have been a clue that my A’s had stretched so much and the wing should have been inspected. I was very lucky to land where I did, have so many great people around to help me, and have access to an airboat for my rescue. 60 yards over I would have landed in the river with a lot of alligators.

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