Jump to content

Paramotor incident


Recommended Posts

He is a balloonist / paramotor pilot flying from a balloon site near Guildford. His wing collapsed low and didn't re-inflate. Witness reported looking up to see the wing folded in half and twisted risers. He then fell from approx 100ft streight down impacting heavily and then tumbled.

Scan = no head spine or internal injuries however multiple complicated limb fractures required ummediate surgical intervention.

I don't know equipment involved but the wing may have had zoom written on it.

I have my own ideas on cause due to info from the witness who saw everything except the initial collapse. I can't be sure so won't speculate.

Regards

Whitters.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hope he's ok, those balloons give off pretty big thermal bubbles when they are being inflated, something to look out for if you are in the vicinity !

Hi Dan

whats the story of the thermals the balloons give off, never heard of those before-can you elaborate?

Hope the poor guy makes a full recovery

Dean

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Never clever to fly above or below hot air balloons.

They can climb like rockets or drop like stones in the blink of an eye!!! That's without any danger from the thermal activity around them.

Just my 2 cents worth.

Hope the guy gets better soon.

Best regards,

Ian.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I crew for a local balloon pilot. and can verify that when inflating, the burners give off an eyebrow melting amount of heat.

2-3 MW of heat or 7 - 10 million BTUs per hour per burner (according to wikipedia) :shock:

so anywhere slightly down wind or above the balloon area will have some very nasty thermal activity at low level.

Stay well clear until they are airborne. :D

And dont fly over the top.. Thats just plain asking for trouble. :( or a hell of a lot of lift.

Colin B

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Balloons - when they are closed up and pumping hot air into the envelope, very little escapes apart from residual, radiated heat. Hardly a killer.

When the envelope deflects and there is a large spill of hot air, or when the contained gas is vented to stabilise/stop the balloon from lifting, then a bubble, a shaft of air gets released. Being HOT in relation to the surrounding environment it is going to travel skyward with the characteristics of a scolded cat. If it meets a flexible nylon wing in passing what will that aggressive burp of energy do?

I don't suggest that this happened to our unfortunate fellow paramoteur - but it might be another good reason to avoid le ballon methinks.

New sport, new interactions with associated lessons to be learned? This poor guy may have stumbled into a situation that will be recognised in future - he may have saved lives or injury by exposing a hazard to us all very graphically.

The AAIB will hopefully have something interesting to say about it later in the day.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I followed a balloon as it made it's landing approach, last Summer, and thought about waiting some distance overhead as he vented. I imagined it might be a bit fierce and chickened out. Midday thermals can be a handfull with their modest temperature difference and relatively large width, that you can stay within, if skilled (lucky in my case) I only guess but I imagine the hot air from a balloon vent could be more like a rifle shot.

Did anyone notice the wind conditions at the weekend, the frontal systems etc right across the South of Brittain ? There was some quite crappy air around here anyway and little flying at March ukppg event. Anyone on here get any nice flying conditions or flew on Saturday/Sunday ?

Dave

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From conversations I have had with balloon pilots they don't vent hot air until touchdown. They have a line that allows them to spill the contents of the envelope which they use after touchdown to keep them planted. Although this line could be pulled in flight it isn't used because if it doesn't re-close properly when released then you are in a very sticky situation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Off topic perhaps... but remember a balloons primary blindspot is directly over the envelope, and they can rise/decend very quickly- upto 700fpm climb rate!!! Descent can also be very rapid- in comparison to paramotors, so generally the rule is not to fly directly over or underneath balloons

and it's bad to fly without a wing, no prop, cells missing, blindfolded, in the middle of an RAF display, etc., etc.,..... My wing manual says I can descend at over 2,500 ft/min ...............

All I hope is that this pilot is ok.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Did anyone notice the wind conditions at the weekend, the frontal systems etc right across the South of Brittain ? There was some quite crappy air around here anyway and little flying at March ukppg event. Anyone on here get any nice flying conditions or flew on Saturday/Sunday ?

Dave

Im only a little way north east from Guildford.

Saturday evening was strong winds. I went for a flight, decided to get back down to Terra Firma as I wasn't making any progression forwards but it wasn't rough...just strong.

Sunday was a write off until late in the evening when I went for a fly north of reigate. Was pretty nice in the evening...if it weren't for my motor losing power due to an air leak somewhere. :cry:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It might be better not to speculate, further, on the cause of this accident. A friend, who I regard as a reliable source, has just phoned about another matter, but also mentioned that last Saturday's crash is now being investigated as a fatal accident. Very sad indeed. My thoughts and sympathy to the pilot's friends and family.

Dave

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share



  • Upcoming Events

    No upcoming events found
×
×
  • Create New...