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Tumbleweed in brakes, close call

PPG Type: Foot Launch – Single Occupant
Type of Injury: No Injury

Pilot Details

Age: 26
Weight: 155
Gender: Male
Highest rating held at the time of the incident: Intermediate – PPG 2
Pilot experience level: 10-50 hours

Gear Details

Wing Brand: BGD
Model: Magic
Size: 23
Paramotor Frame: Fly Products Rider with Moster 185

Incident Details

December 10, 2022 3:45 PM
Location of the incident:
GREELEY, Colorado
Type of Incident
: Close Call

Pilot did a forward launch into the wind, as the wing came up there was a large tumbleweed holding the brakes to another set of lines, causing them to be pulled slightly. Pilot visually checked the wing, after inflation, but failed to notice the tumbleweed. Pilot went to full power and launched with the tumbleweed in the brakes, causing the glider to enter a left turn toward a tree. Luckily with full throttle the glider was able to climb enough to avoid a collision. A quick tug on the left brake shortly after missing the tree, cleared the tumbleweed from the lines.

Launch site has many tumbleweeds and getting rid of all of them is challenging. A more thorough visual inspection of the wing overhead, and laying out the wing further down the field to give more space to taxi, could have prevented this close call.

Flight Window: Evening
Wind Speed: Light Wind (1-5 mph)
Type: Steady / Laminar
Phase of Flight: Takeoff
Type of Injury: No Injury
Collateral Damage: None
Analysis of the incident (additional input by the incident investigation team):

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

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