PPG Type: Foot Launch – Single Occupant
Type of Injury: No Injury
Highest rating held at the time of the incident: Unknown
Pilot experience level: 50+ hours
Wing Brand: Bdg
Paramotor Frame: Unknown Unknown with Unknown
February 17, 2023 5:30 PM
Location of the incident: Maricopa county, Arizona
Type of Incident: Mid-Air Collision, Pilot Error, See report
Incident involved two pilots. Pilot A is referred to as experienced pilot with 50+ flight hours, pilot B is referred to as inexperienced pilot with less than 2 hours flight time.
incident took place at approximately 5:30pm on Feb 17 2023 at flying circus fly in event. Pilot A (experienced pilot) was attempting a “wing tip touch” with pilot B (inexperienced pilot). Pilot A was on left side of pilot B and moving faster than pilot B. Video shows pilot A initiated right input on brake and right weight shift while at the same time passing pilot B whom was on pilot A right side. During this action and just prior to impact pilot B reduced throttle and decended approximately 20 feet. Pilot A just after right input which put pilot A in front of and slightly higher than pilot B let off throttle which cussed pilot B to impact pilot A from behind. Impact was pilot B leading edge of wing to pilot A cage and prop.
video does not show clearly what lines tangled into pilot A prop and cage, however from post interview pilot B suggested it was their A lines. Video suggests this to be true as pilot B took approximately 30% right wing collapse which reinflated as both parties were descending.
which both pilot A (now in front and on top) and pilot B in back and low where tangled, pilot A motor was running and their prop spinning and cutting pilot B leading edge wing, they both rode to the ground. Altitude is unknown but impact to ground was approximately 15 to 20 seconds. Pilot A did not kill engine at impact and rode running engine to ground where he killed engine after impact. Later reports suggest pilot A was flying with broken kill switch which was resets on given in post investigation as to why engine was not shut down. Further investigations suggest the broken kill switch was an issue for approximately the past year.
both pilots rode the collision to the ground with pilot B impacting first and pilot A impacting second. No injuries were recorded. Damage included broken prop (pilot A) and damaged wing (pilot B, unknown if pilot b sustained intact prop).
Flight Window: Evening
Wind Speed: Moderate Wind (5-9 mph)
Type: Light and Variable
Phase of Flight: Cruise/In Flight
Type of Injury: No Injury
Collateral Damage: Other Pilot(s)
Analysis of the incident (additional input by the incident investigation team):
After review of video from Pilot A 360 camera it appears a wing tip touch was attempted. Pilot A was flying at a faster rate and forced wing tip touch with right brake input and weight shift while pilot B was attempting to break off contact with a descending input. During this pilot A stopped throttle input cussing pilot B to collide with pilot A. It should be noted pilot A give no “out” to pilot B to avoided collision.
Pilot A attempted wing tip touch with a very new pilot (pilot B).
Pilot A did not have a stable wing and did not match speed of pilot B.
Pilot A turned into and went to idle leaving pilot B no avenue to escape.
Pilot B was a new pilot, recommendation to not fly at large fly in until more air time is under the belt.
We can learn from this as wing tip touches are fun, they carry a responsibility of risk vs reward. Stable flight, known air condition, and pre planning should have been done. New pilots should never attempt this type of activity and experienced pilots should not entertain such actively with a new pilot.
It is all our responsibility to ensure proper function of our gear, this includes a working kill switch as, in this event, total wing failure due to in going prop to wing damage OR PROP to body contact could have occurred resulting in a fall to the ground or severe body injury.
Video of this incident is east to find, no link will be given.
Photos (if available):
Video (if available):
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