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Pilot died on impact!

PPG Type: Foot Launch
Type of Injury: Fatality

Pilot Details

Age: 39
Weight: 160
Gender: Male
Highest rating held at the time of the incident: Advanced – PPG 3
Pilot experience level: 50+ hours

Gear Details

Wing Brand: Mac Para
Model: Colorado
Size: 18
Paramotor Frame: Yooda Yak with Moster 185

Incident Details

June 24, 2022 6:39 PM
Location of the incident:
Farmersville, Texas
Type of Incident
: Collision with terrain or ground obstacle

Ben Launched at 1830hrs, launching into the wind, made a huge 180 degree circle and headed across our north side  tree line, on the other side Ben turned East, started to do some light ACRO, wing overs, nothing seemed wrong everything was pretty much normal, these trees are 50′ tall, I would say he was no more than 100-120′ in the air when he made another 180 Degree turn, getting more aggressive with his actions, his wing collapsed as he entered the second wing over, this was probably due to wind rotor since the wind was blowing North, hitting his wing as he flew west, Ben dropped behind the tree line and the motor could not be heard anymore.

As I approached the crash site I could tell that Ben had died, his legs were broken, you could tell he went head over heals and snapped his neck, after cutting him from the gear and wing lines we started CPR until the fire rescue showed.

I believe in the last minute Ben tried to pull out of the drop by getting on this throttle, he hit with such force it burst his fuel tank along the bottom seam, it ripped the tank completely off, the top of his cage was bent backwards, from the forward roll, this snapped his neck, he died instantly.

After I did CPR for some time I stepped back and started to piece things together, I know that he was at full throttle, he crashed in a corn field, when he hit the ground he slid 15 – 20 yards.

Ben was a very experienced Pilot over 1200 flights, his flying became more aggressive and even closer to the ground, I was his Instructor and have warned him many times as his habits changed, I expressed my concerns over the low flying ACRO, I believe EGO is what killed my friend, he would often laugh at me and say yeah, yeah…

I believe he got so comfortable doing these stunts that he didn’t expect this to happen and he forgot my MOST important rule… Leave yourself an out, had he been at 800′ or more, we would not be going through this mental hardship.

Ben had been flying with another Pilot 8 days prior to this accident, this Pilot observed Ben flying low and doing wing overs, later after that flight Ben noted that he came very close to the ground and almost bragged about it, EGO and situational awareness is what brought my friend to his end.

Just before Ben launched I fist bumped him for the last time, 9 minutes later…. he was dead.  This accident was witnessed by 3 Pilots, although we did not see the impact due to the trees… we saw the flight, wing overs and the collapse.   Our trees here are maybe 50-60 feet tall from our situation our vantage point I suspect Ben was no more than 150′ in the air. this accident was avoidable. 100% Pilot error.

I am having to deal with his family, I would have posted earlier, if People cannot learn from this? then there is no helping them. Feel free to call on me for more questions, if I do not answer please leave a message.

Flight Window: Evening
Wind Speed: Moderate Wind (5-9 mph)
Type: Light and Variable
Phase of Flight: Cruise/In Flight
Type of Injury: Fatality
Collateral Damage: None
Analysis of the incident (additional input by the incident investigation team):

Photos (if available):
Video (if available):

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