Read is a paramotor pilot who doesn’t do much free flight but launched from the base of a well known free flight site, Point of the Mountain. He was man enough to post what happened on Facebook and agreed to let me share it. Here is his story.
Action and Reaction
2017-07-21 by Read Flake
I’ve been flying since 2011 with well over 500 flights. Still I’d consider myself experienced but not an expert with a very conservative flying style. I weigh about 225 and was on a Charger 25M wing with a Moster 185 Plus i had mounted on a Flat Top frame (purchased 2nd hand, not from manufacturer).
I decided to go for a quick flight at Point of the Mountain where I’ve flown before. It was a little late (past 10, most pilots gone). And a little gusty, but not terrible. Sill, I knew it wasn’t the greatest conditions but thought that since I have a motor, there’s no need to drive to the top–just launch below and fly up to the ridge to catch the thermals.
Above the ridge the wind hit me unexpectedly hard and directed me straight toward power lines. I couldn’t seem to turn or elevate fast enough (video may not reflect, but I was very close and rapidly approaching). With no time to react, I turned left (right I may have made it). I executed a tight spin but didn’t let off brakes soon enough.
From the video, you can’t see a real collapse but a direct parachutal stall dropping fro about 40 feet.
I hit hard and broke my pelvis, crushed two vertebrae in spine and one in neck. Also partially collapsed lung. Other guys were on the scene to try to stabilize me. They called in a life flight and I’ve been at University of Utah Medical Center in SLC ever since.
Never thought I’d be writing this post. Appreciate the words of encouragement and support.