Friday, September 13, 2019

Infinity Powered Parachute, N6035L: Fatal accident occurred September 12, 2019 in Eustace, Henderson County, Texas

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Irving, Texas

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Eustace, TX
Accident Number: CEN19LA316
Date & Time: 09/12/2019, 0945 CDT
Registration: N6035L
Aircraft: Infinity Power Parachutes IPP2
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On September 12, 2019, about 0945 central daylight time, a tricycle-geared Infinity Power Parachutes IPP2 powered parachute (PPC), N6035L, impacted a wire during a low-level flight near Eustace, Texas. The private pilot and sole occupant sustained fatal injuries. The PPC sustained substantial damage. The PPC was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provision of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a visual flight rules personal flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from the pilot's property near Eustace about 0830.

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

According to a witness, he observed the PPC flying "erratic" and low about 10 to 15 ft above the 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 that he observed the PPC flying "extremely low" just above the trees and power lines. The witness surmised that the pilot was looking for a place to land. He stated it didn't appear the PPC had any mechanical issues, and the fabric parachute canopy was "full" while he was observing it.

A third witness, who was a neighbor to the pilot, reported he observed the PPC fly over his property and then turn south and disappeared from his 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 accident site and discovered the pilot lying inside the cart, upside down, and unconscious. He observed a wire wrapped around the pilot and the cart.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) aviation safety inspector (ASI) responded to the accident site about 1300. The FAA ASI documented the accident site and the wreckage. The PPC came to rest in a flat, open grass field on its left side but was then moved upright by first responders. The accident site was located near the intersection of County Road 2857 and Farm to Market Road 2329, about 2 miles south of Eustace. The left side of the PPC impacted the ground about 100 ft east of where the PPC contacted the wire. The debris path indicated the PPC was on an eastward heading at the time of impact. The PPC sustained substantial damage to the metal tubing of the cart as shown below in figure 1. The FAA ASI observed about one quarter of a tank of fuel onboard and the fuel tank was intact. All components of the cart and the engine were located at the accident site. An examination revealed no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the cart and engine. A review of the PPC's maintenance records revealed no evidence of any uncorrected mechanical discrepancies with the cart and engine.

Figure 1 – View of the substantial damage sustained to the metal tubing of the cart (courtesy of the Athens Daily Review). The parachute canopy is located on the aft side of the cart.

The wire, as shown below in figure 2, was about one-quarter inch diameter, which was composed of steel. The wire was estimated to be about 25 ft above the ground near the grass field. Due to the impact, the wire separated from the utility poles it was connected to. The wire that was impacted did not have aerial markers installed, nor was it required to.

Figure 2 – View of the wire (courtesy of the Texas Department of Public Safety).

The two-seat capacity (tandem seating) PPC, serial number IIP2-105, held a FAA light-sport aircraft airworthiness certificate, and the word "experimental" was displayed on the cart. The PPC was equipped with a Rotax 582 engine, serial number 5381428.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Infinity Power Parachutes
Registration: N6035L
Model/Series: IPP2
Aircraft Category: Powered Parachute
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None  

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KF44, 444 ft msl
Observation Time: 0235 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 11 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 26°C / 20°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm / ,
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.06 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Eustace, TX
Destination: Eustace, TX

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 32.276667, -96.006667 (est)

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email 

Donald Lee Burns, Sr.

On September 12th, 2019, Donald Lee Burns, Sr., loving husband, dad and granddad entered into eternal rest at the age of 70.

Donald was born in Denton July 13, 1949 to Leroy and Damaris Burns. He attended La Puenta High School and then enlisted in the U.S. Army Nov. 24, 1968 serving during the Vietnam War.

On Jan. 3, 1970 he married the love of his life, Brenda Fleischer at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Hacienda Heights, Calif. They lived in Hawaii in the first year of marriage then moved to Fort Hood in Killeen until 1971.

After being honorably discharged from the U.S. Army they began their journey in California, as he worked as a mechanic for a fleet service. Soon adding to their family, a son and a daughter.

In 1989, their lives led them to Henderson County where he worked for a cabinet shop, drove an eighteen wheeler and then worked at Solar Turbines as a refurbish technician before retiring at the age of 62.

Don adored his family and friends dearly and would do anything to lend a helping hand or make them smile, even if it was playing games we had to trick him into playing.
He loved God with all of his heart and was a great influence and mentor to many.

Don enjoyed traveling, riding motorcycles, surfing in his younger years, woodwork and anything mechanical. He had a passion for flying and he obtained his private pilot license in Athens June 30, 1990.

Don is survived by his wife Brenda Burns, son Donald Burns, Jr. and fiance Joni Smith of Eustace, daughter Sheri Labelle and husband Bryan Labelle of McKinney, grandchildren Dustin Meadows and wife AJ, Skye Burns, Kathleen Grundt, Angela Labelle and Joey Labelle, sisters Tommie Smith of Payne Springs and Becky Moore of Hemet, Calif., and also by numerous nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, we would prefer plants or donations to the building fund of St. Peter Lutheran Church of Gun Barrel City located at 130 Luther Lane, Gun Barrel City, Texas 75156 (903) 887-0436 or their website at  A personal tribute can be made online at

HENDERSON COUNTY, TEXAS (KLTV) - A man died Thursday after the powered parachute he had been flying reportedly got tangled in power lines in a rural part of Henderson County between Athens and Eustace.

Henderson County Sheriff Botie Hillhouse confirmed to KLTV News that the pilot of the powered parachute died.

Henderson County Sheriff Botie Hillhouse confirmed Thursday that the person became stuck between Athens and Eustace, near the intersection of County Road 2329 and County Road 2857.

Lynn Lunsford, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, said that it was a powered parachute with one person on board. According to preliminary information, it hit a power line, he said.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash, Lunsford said.

Story and video ➤

A powered parachute accident left a man dead on the scene Thursday morning in Henderson County.

The Henderson County Sheriff's Office got the call around 9 a.m. Thursday, that a powered parachute had hit power lines just outside of Eustace.

Henderson County Sheriff's Office, Texas Department of Public Safety and the Eustace Fire Department responded to the scene at the intersection of County Road 2857 and Farm to Market 2329.

A neighbor who had been watching the flight, spoke to the Athens Review and reported hearing a loud explosion followed by silence.

Sheriff Botie Hillhouse said the investigation has been turned over to the Federal Aviation Administration.

The Athens Review contacted the Federal Aviation Administration, but they were unable to release the man's identity.

Original article can be found here ➤

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