Dumb Chute Story

This morning I got spanked!

Excellent weather, dead calm, clear skies.  76* 99% humidity high density of altitude.

I wish there had been a witness to this mornings botched launch.  
The best I can figure is …. 
I didn’t pay enough attention to the wing.  The LIFT EZ has been nicely benign.  Ever since the first flight, every inflation has been straight as an arrow and ready for throttle-up.  I think it was Jerry Frost, at the dry lake Mirage in Central California, he used to launch as if every one was on a short runway.  He would inflate the wing and go full throttle almost immediately.  Well…. The last several flights with the EZ have been easy.

I suspect….  I got lazy and didn’t look.  I assumed the wing was up and stable when it was probably way off to the side.  The roll out and initial inflation seemed normal.  When I went to full throttle i was immediately pulled to the right. The nose wheel was the first thing to impact followed by a good bounce from the right rear. The left wheel came in hardest causing a bent axle.  The fiberglass struts were stressed but not damaged.
I also remember the trike yawing to the left just before impact.  I don’t know where that came from, it’s almost as if the left rear wheel had been snagged by a cable but I wasn’t able to locate anything that might have cause a snag.  
Like I said ….I wish someone had been there to witness.  It seems obvious that the wing was off to the side.   Fact is, I wasn’t paying attention, I assumed the wing was acting as it had for the previous 15 flights.
Here is the list of damages
1.  Left rear axle
2. Nose wheel smashed
3. Two prop blades were nicked where they flexed into the motor drive pulley.
4. Slightly bent cage … No repair needed.
Right knee sprung
Sore right shoulder
Fortunately there was no damage to the wing.

Author: JoeO

Powered Paraglider pilot since 2005

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