NTSB releases preliminary report on fatal powered-parachute crash

Powered Parachute Crash
Powered Parachute Crash
Updated: Sep. 24, 2019 at 4:49 PM CDT
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HENDERSON COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - The National Transportation Safety Board has released the preliminary report on an crash involving a powered parachute that left a man dead.

According to the NTSB report, on Sept. 12 at about 9:45 am, a powered parachute (PPC) impacted a wire during a low-level flight near the town of Eustace. The private pilot and sole occupant sustained fatal injuries and the powered parachute sustained substantial damage. The flight originated from the pilot’s property near Eustace about 8:30 am.

According to the wife of the pilot, she heard the powered parachute flying around the local area several times after takeoff near the property and it then departed the local area.

A witness observed the powered parachute flying “erratic” and low about 10-15 ft above trees and power lines. He reported the pilot seemed to have control of the PPC and did not appear to have any mechanical issues.

Another witness reported seeing the PPC flying “extremely low” just above the trees. The witnessed surmised that the pilot was looking for a place to land and didn’t appear to have mechanical issues.

A third witness, a neighbor of the pilot, said he saw the PPC fly over his property and then turn south and disappear from view. He reported it sounded like the pilot tried to apply additional power to the engine and there were two snapping sounds followed by the sound of an impact. He responded to the crash site and discovered the pilot lying inside the cart, upside down, and unconscious. He observed a wire wrapped around the pilot and the cart.

The report said the PPC came to rest in a flat, open grass field on its left side but was then moved upright by first responders. The crash site was located near the intersection of County Road 2857 and Farm to Market Road 2329, about 2 miles south of Eustace.

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