April 24, 2022 at 7:25 AM #15011
Visiting P2 pilot with instructor guide enters helicopter like stall spin impacting flat ground hard approximately 200 yds NNE of the shade str. around 415 pm.
Pilot in his mid 60s, holds a P2 rating, low airtime and has been visiting local sites getting experience and more airtime. Initial training in 2015, took 3 yrs hiatus for hip replacement surgery and completed training in spring early 2021.
Pilots equipment was purchased new in late 2015 and due to the low airtime exposure is assumed airworthy.
Conditions that afternoon were light in terms of windspeed and convection. Inversion base at mid 4k area. A typical light spring day.
Witnesses reported a stall spin from ~100 ft.
What initiated the spin is likely braking coupled with a hit from rising air near the tree line. Slow recognition of the stalled wing and a too late response to the situation had the pilot impacting at high speed.
Pilot was unconscious when help arrived within a minute of impact. 911 was immediately called and emergency responders arrived quickly and transported the pilot to LLMC.
Injuries to the pilot were severe. He landed upright, suffering right tib fib fractures, pelvis fractures and shattered L1 vertebrae. At present treatment is still ongoing as the pilots strength and ability to recover from surgeries improves. The tib fib has yet to be repaired as of this writing, 3 weeks post incident. This pilot’s road to recovery has just begun and will likely be measured in years.
Stalling is particularly dangerous in a ram air canopy as there is no built in stall recovery aside from ceasing pilot input and allowing gravity to provide flying airspeed. Any time close to terrain, keep the airspeed up. For PGs close to terrain is that distance it will take for you to realize youre in an irrecoverable situation, deploy your chute, and for the parachute to inflate. How far is that?May 2, 2022 at 6:10 AM #15106
Pilot is still in intensive care, back on a ventilator. After the latest surgery, his condition has taken a turn for the worse.
Keep Wade in your thoughts this week.May 2, 2022 at 12:32 PM #15110
Really sorry to read this
Thanks for keeping up and us posted
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