Pilot weight (without motor): 130 US Pounds
Rating: Beginner (PPG1 or Equivalent)
Experience: Less Than 10 Hours Solo
Incident Detail Information
Type of Incident: Collision with Terrain/Obstruction on Ground
Primary Cause: Pilot Error and Weather
Contributing Distractions: None
Windspeed: Strong (10-15 MPH)
Wind Type: Gusting
Thermal Conditions: None
Visibility: 10 miles
Surface: Crop Field
Site Elevation: 500 (feet above sea level)
Phase of Flight: Cruise
Purpose of Flight: Recreation
Safety Gear Used:
Witness pilot on the ground reports that accident Pilot took off from the valley, which is north of the hill ridge. Pilot flew below and against the north ridge. Wind above the hill was reported as south, 8G18mph. Pilot took some major collapses due to rotor, attempted to return to LZ but sustained another collapse then took approximately 2 riser twists, which locked the spiral/collapse. Pilot spiraled into the ground from 100-150ft.
Witness pilot was not able to reach the downed pilot due to a remote area (pasture encircled by a wide and deep creek). Witness phoned 911 and requested a Life-Flight Helicopter evacuation. Helicopter was able to land near the injured pilot and flew pilot to nearest hospital.
Injuries included concussion, pelvis broken in several places, and internal bruising. Pilot has been in the hospital for 6 nights, and will possibly be released in another week (mainly due to pelvic injuries).
Pilot owned a reserve, but chose not to wear it during that flight. Pilot was aware of the hazards of rotor, but "didn't think it would happen to them...".
Photo: No photo on file.