Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Cessna 208B Grand Caravan, N1116N and Dudek Paragliders Solo 21, Unregistered: Fatal accident occurred December 21, 2021 in Fulshear, Fort Bend County, Texas

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. 

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Houston, Texas 
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas 
Martinaire Aviation LLC; Addison, Texas

Aero Leasing

Martinaire Aviation LLC

Location: Fulshear, Texas
Accident Number: CEN22FA081
Date and Time: December 21, 2021, 09:26 Local
Registration: N1116N (A1); UNREGISTERED (A2) Aircraft: Cessna 208 (A1); Dudek Paragliders Solo 21 (A2) 
Injuries: 1 Fatal (A1); 1 Fatal (A2)
Flight Conducted Under: Part 135: Air taxi and commuter - Non-scheduled (A1); Part 103: Ultralight (A2)

On December 21, 2021, about 0926 central standard time, a Cessna 208B airplane, N1116N, collided with a powered paraglider while inflight near Fulshear, Texas. The pilot of the Cessna 208B and the individual flying the powered paraglider were fatally injured. The Cessna 208B was destroyed and the powered paraglider sustained substantial damage. The Cessna 208B was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 135 cargo flight, and the powered paraglider was operated as a Title 14 CFR part 103 personal flight.

According to air traffic control data, at 0910, the Cessna 208B departed George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), Houston, Texas, on runway 26R and then flew to the southwest toward Victoria Regional Airport (VCT), Victoria, Texas. At 0917:53, the pilot of the Cessna 208B was cleared to climb and maintain 5,000 ft mean sea level (msl). At 0924:08, the Cessna 208B pilot asked the controller, “…
confirm you wanted me at five thousand opposite direction traffic.” The controller replied that he wanted the Cessna 20B to remain at 5,000 ft msl, but to expect a higher altitude soon.

According to automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) data that was transmitted from the Cessna 208B to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) air traffic control (ATC), between 0925:31 and 0925:34, the Cessna 208B departed level flight at 5,000 ft msl and entered a rapidly increasing descent. The final ADS-B track data was recorded at 0925:34 at 4,725 ft msl and about ½ mile northeast of the Cessna 208B main wreckage site. The final ADS-B data return had a descent rate of 8,960 ft/min.

The powered paraglider was not equipped with a transponder or ADS-B equipment, and as such the powered paraglider’s position was not displayed on the air traffic controller’s display. A review of the source radar data indicated that there were numerous primary returns near where the Cessna 208B departed level flight and ADS-B data was lost. However, these primary returns were not displayed on
the controller’s display nor would they have a reported altitude.

An onsite examination revealed that the outboard 10 ft of the Cessna 208B right wing had separated inflight and was located on the ground about ½ mile east-southeast of the main Cessna 208B wreckage. 

The leading edge of the right wing exhibited a semicircular impact impression that measured about 5 ft wide and about 36 inches deep. There were remnants of fabric consistent with the jacket that the individual flying the powered paraglider was wearing found within the semicircular impression.

The Cessna 208B impacted terrain at a high vertical speed in a steep nose down and inverted attitude. The wreckage was oriented on a magnetic heading of about 332°. The Cessna 208B wreckage was highly fragmented and the impact crater was about 10 ft deep. Flight control continuity could not be established due to fragmentation and soil embedment; however, all flight control cable separations were consistent with tensile overload. The engine and propeller were located at the base of the impact crater. All three propeller blades had separated from the hub and exhibited leading edge gouging and chordwise scoring. Two of the propeller blades exhibited S-shape bending.

The individual flying the powered paraglider and the paraglider’s engine were found about 0.7 mile east-northeast of the Cessna 208B main wreckage. The individual and the paraglider engine had separated from the seat harness. The paraglider airfoil and harness were located about 3.9 miles south of the Cessna 208B main wreckage. The paraglider harness exhibited tearing and impact damage. The
paraglider airfoil remained intact with minor tearing of the lower airfoil surface. The emergency parachute was found deployed, with no evidence of damage.

There were two video devices recovered near the body of the powered paraglider pilot, which were submitted to the NTSB Vehicle Recorders Laboratory for possible data download.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information (A1)

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N1116N
Model/Series: 208 B 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:
Operating Certificate(s) Held: Commuter air carrier (135)
Operator Designator Code:

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information (A2)

Aircraft Make: Dudek Paragliders
Registration: UNREGISTERED 
Model/Series: Solo 21 
Aircraft Category: Ultralight
Amateur Built:
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC 
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: TME,168 ft msl
Observation Time: 09:15 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 9 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 8°C /7°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 5 knots / , 50°
Lowest Ceiling: 
Visibility: 6 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.2 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point: 

Wreckage and Impact Information (A1)

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries:
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Latitude, Longitude: 29.650019,-95.950949

Wreckage and Impact Information (A2)

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries:
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Latitude, Longitude: 29.650019,-95.950949

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation may contact them by email witness@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov. You can also call the NTSB Response Operations Center at 844-373-9922 or 202-314-6290.

Robert S. Gruss
Algonquin, Illinois
May 16, 1986 - December 21, 2021

Robert S. Gruss, 35, of San Antonio, TX passed away on December 21, 2021 he was born May 16, 1986 in Elgin, IL. He was a graduate of Hampton University with a Bachelors of Science in Flight Education and was an avid pilot and flight instructor.

Survived by his wife Kelli Gruss, his father Bob Gruss and stepmother Lauren Gruss, his mother Mary Seifert.

He was preceded in death by his grandparents Bruno and Dorothy Gruss, and uncle Ron Gruss.  

Memorial Services will be held at 12:00 Noon on Saturday January 8, 2021 at Wait Ross Allanson Funeral and Cremation Services, 201 S. Main St, Algonquin, IL. Visitation will be on Saturday from 11:00 AM until time of services.

Kenneth Joel "Joey" Tuttle, Jr.

December 18, 1970 - December 21, 2021

Kenneth Joel “Joey” Tuttle, Jr., native Texan born in Austin, resident of Houston area most of his life, most recently living in his dream home in Fulshear, married to Lisa of 19 years, his beautiful wife, and the father of Zachary, big brother to Emilie (Allan Hill) and little brother to Jeani (Kermit Hughes), dearest son, funny brother-in-law, devoted nephew, loyal cousin, one-of-a kind uncle, and special friend to so many.  He is preceded in death by Kenneth Tuttle, Sr. and survived by his mother Ruby Gentry and her husband James Earl Gentry.

Joey graduated from Sweetwater Christian School in 1989, then served in the US Army as an Intelligence Analyst until 1995. He learned many trades throughout his lifetime beginning with construction, working with his father. Ultimately, his path led him to SLI Group where he has worked in architectural design for 25+ years, which was a dream of his from the age of 13.

Joey was a self-taught present-day inventor, designer, craftsman, tradesman, and woodworker mastering every task that he set out to learn. His love for the outdoors and quest for adventure was a part of who he was. His first and foremost love was doing the work of the Lord Jesus Christ with all of his talents.  God gave Joey talents that he used for God’s glory.  No matter the task, he used his knowledge, skills and his heart to shine for the Lord.

Whenever Joey looked at the world around him, he decided that God gave him the creation for a reason, a purpose and for a desire to learn more so he could share more.

Among all of his accomplishments, his greatest was his family, loving his beautiful wife Lisa, and being The #1 Best Dad to his son, Zachary. Joey cherished his Family Time more than anything.  His sanctuary was his home.  He loved working in his shop.

Joey served The Lord at River Bend Baptist Church because he loved the Lord.  "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28  

God gave Joey the insight into reasons why things happen that some people can never understand.  A profound “Joeyism” is “Not everyone God places in your path is for your benefit, sometimes it’s for theirs.”

Services will be held at River Bend Baptist Church Thursday, December 30, 2021 located at 27600 FM 1093, Fulshear, TX 77441.  Reception will begin at 1 p.m. with services immediately following.  All donations may be made in Joey Tuttle’s name to River Bend Baptist Church https://riverbendbc.org/give/ or by mail.

Robert Gruss

FULSHEAR, Texas - The two people who died in a midair collision involving a small plane and a paraglider in Fort Bend County have been identified.

The pilot of the small plane was identified as 35-year-old Robert Steven Gruss, and the paraglider was identified as 51-year-old Kenneth Tuttle, according to the Fort Bend County Medical Examiner’s Office. 

According to the FAA, a Cessna 208B Grand Caravan crashed south of Fulshear around 9:40 a.m. Tuesday after colliding in midair with a paraglider.

The Cessna was flying from George Bush Intercontinental Airport to Victoria Regional Airport.

The FAA says one person was onboard each aircraft.

FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas — Investigators and crews are working to find out what led to the mid-air collision Tuesday morning between a Cessna cargo plane and a paraglider over rural Fort Bend County.

Two people died in the incident that was spread across at least three locations that are approximately four miles apart.

The pilot of the Cessna 208B Grand Caravan was identified as Robert Steven Gruss, 35, according to the Fort Bend County Medical Examiner's Office.

The identity of the other person involved in the collision had not yet been revealed by authorities on Wednesday.

The body of one of the victims was found in a yard near the Weston Lakes subdivision, Fort Bend County Constable Chad Norvell said on Tuesday.

A Cessna 208B Grand Caravan was enroute to Victoria, Texas from George Bush Intercontinental Airport when it crashed at a firing range approximately a half-mile away from the subdivision, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Federal officials involved in the investigation provided no details on the crash, deferring to a preliminary report expected next month. The FAA referred inquiries to the National Transportation Safety Board.

"Some of your questions will be answered by the preliminary report in two weeks or the full investigation report, which could take 1-2 years," NTSB spokesperson Eric Weiss said in a statement.

A spokesperson with UPS said the aircraft involved was carrying material for the shipping giant.

"UPS is aware of an accident involving a small aircraft that departed Houston Tuesday morning on a flight to Victoria, TX," UPS media relations director Jim Mayer said in a statement. "While the accident did not involve a UPS aircraft or employees, the flight was contracted to carry UPS packages. Our thoughts are with everyone involved in this tragic situation."

The incident happened in an area known for intensive glider activity, according to FAA aeronautical charts.


  1. N1116N never saw the paraglider.
    last three ADS-B returns.
    Time: :25:07
    Pos.: 29.666,-95.925
    Speed: 162 kt
    Altitude: 4800 ft
    Vert. Rate: 64 ft/min
    Track: 231.3°

    Time: :25:31
    Pos.: 29.655,-95.941
    Speed: 162 kt
    Altitude: 4800 ft
    Vert. Rate: 64 ft/min
    Track: 231.8°

    Time: :25:34 seconds
    Pos.: 29.654,-95.943
    Speed: 145 kt
    Altitude: ▼ 4600 ft
    Vert. Rate: -8960 ft/min
    Track: 243.4°

    1. Comparing Brazos River Sportsman's Club location to ADS-B:

      Track, looking at ending position:

      Brazos River Sportsman's Club mapped:

    2. There is no way to tell if N1116N saw the paraglider from the 3 datapoints you posted, especially with the first two being 24 seconds apart. He may have been taking evasive action in those last 3 seconds. To determine who saw what, more precise data will be needed, either from onboard data from the 208 or if the paraglider had a gopro or other video recorder like many do.

    3. What was seen is unknown, but the 25:32 data point was omitted:

      Time: :25:32
      Pos.: 29.655°, -95.942°
      Speed: 155 kt
      Altitude: 4800 ft
      Vert. Rate: -2688 ft/min
      Track: 240.3°

      The 208 pilot would not likely have dived into the paraglider from cruise, so the change in data from conditions at 25:31 to the conditions at 25:32 suggest that the 25:32 data transmit is after the mid-air impact.

  2. Accident time was approximately 10:25 Local
    Operating as Martinaire 685 cargo flight.



    1. Crash time from ADS-B was actually 9:25 AM CST, +6 = 15:25 Z.

      The L on Adsbexchange time tags represents local time at your device's location, as adsbexchange perceives it. Cross checking to the Flightaware time is a good way to work out the correct hour.


  3. If I remember right a Martinaire Caravan crashed near Inez, after leaving KVCT a few years ago. Obviously it's not related to this one and it may not have even been a Marinaire Caravan. At the speed the Caravan was flying and as small and unexpected as a paraglider would be I doubt if the Caravan pilot saw the paraglider. Apparently there are no restrictions on the altitude that a paraglider can fly? The article calls the Caravan a "small plane"?

    1. In Class E airspace, gliders, paragliders, powered paragliders, and hang gliders are limited to 18,000 ft.

  4. Object at 1:01 in news video appears to be wingtip or horizontal stab knocked off during the mid-air collision, judging from the black de-ice boot as compared to accident aircraft file photo.


    1. Static wick arrangement on the detached piece matches wing tip aileron and it's trim tab. Wing tip cap seam is visible. (Horizontal stab has finger at the end instead of a tip cap).

  5. According to FlightAware, the Cessna filed to 6,000, but was held at 5,000 initially for traffic. You can hear audio of the Cessna on the LiveATC KTME Feed "KTME-Dec-21-2021-1500Z.mp3". It's a shared feed with other frequencies so some calls appear to be missing, but here are the ones I transcribed:

    Houston Approach: Martex 685, Good Morning, radar contact
    Houston Approach: 30 direct Victoria when able, Martex 685
    MRA685: Approach, Martex 685
    Houston Approach: Sorry, who called?
    MRA685: Martex 685. I just wanted to confirm you wanted me at 5,000 (for) opposite direction traffic.
    Houston Approach: At 5 for now, I'll have higher in just a bit here.
    MRA685: Martex 685
    Houston Approach: Martex 685, climb and maintain 6,000
    Houston Approach: Martex 685, Houston
    Houston Approach: Martex 685, Radar Contact Lost
    Houston Approach: Martex 685, Houston
    Houston Approach: Martex 685, Houston
    Houston Approach: Martex 685, Houston Approach

  6. METARs at airports encircling the collision area:

    KTME 211535Z AUTO 03005KT 7SM 08/07 A3020 RMK AO2
    KTME 211515Z AUTO 05005KT 6SM BR 08/07 A3020 RMK AO2

    KELA 211535Z AUTO 10SM CLR 09/06 A3020
    KELA 211515Z AUTO 00000KT 10SM CLR 08/06 A3019

    KSGR 211553Z 04006KT 10SM CLR 11/04 A3018
    KSGR 211453Z 03005KT 9SM CLR 09/05 A3017

    KARM 211535Z AUTO 02003KT 10SM CLR 08/06 A3019
    KARM 211515Z AUTO 00000KT 10SM CLR 07/06 A3019

  7. Judging by picture of left wing with the paramotor cage still lodged into it, the planes left wing struck the paramotor from behind. Paramotor pilot would have never seen the plane coming and most likely would have died on impact.

    1. An elevated photo of the wing fragment from a different angle shows end cap profile well enough to see that the fragment is the outer portion of the right (Starboard) wing, positioned with the underside facing up.

      See second photo in news story here:

    2. That still indicates the paramotor was hit from behind.

  8. last ADS B data indicates an -8k decent. RIP guys.

  9. Several locations can be map-pinned from news images.
    1. Paramotor fan cage ring fragment at fountain and bridge area
    seen at 0:49 to 0:52 in the News2 video:
    2. Item at front sidewalk of a home 1:03-1:07:
    3. Wing fragment at stub fence:
    4. Officers/tape 1:07 to 1:13 near where paramotor pilot found:
    5. C208 impact location:

    Here are map-pinned ADS-B reported locations:
    A. ADS-B @ 15:25:07 Z:
    B. ADS-B @ 15:25:31 Z:
    C. ADS-B @ 15:25:32 Z:
    D. ADS-B @ 15:25:34 Z:

    News2 video as time-referenced above:

  10. Paraglider has no business at that altitude. ADSB should be required above 2500 feet or so. That would have likely prevented this.

    1. Unfortunately the FAA doesn't allow ADS-B for paramotor pilots. A failure on their part but I'm sure they will soon.

    2. Lacking a supportive electrical system, transponder or registration ID (tail number) to convey aircraft identity has a lot to do with ADS-B out not being implemented for paramotors.

      Voluntary equipage TSO-C199 for Awareness Beacon Systems might offer a partially followed solution IF ultralight registration was imposed for flying higher than a specified altitude AGL.

      Mountain-launched hang gliders and paragliders would justifiably be outraged by an AGL-based registration requirement and require a carve-out. Paramotor operators would easily make a case to be allowed to fly in those same carved out circumstances without registration.

      One of the companies that makes TSO-C199 units now shows a list price of $2000 which the footy flyer community would not be likely to embrace in significant voluntary numbers to make an operational difference until the cost came down.

      Some info on the subject in FAA ADS-B FAQ question 12:

      "TSO-C199 specifies requirements for Traffic Awareness Beacon Systems (TABS) devices. TABS devices are intended for voluntary equipage on aircraft exempted from carrying a transponder or ADS-B equipment, such as gliders, balloons and aircraft without electrical systems."

      Here is a functional summary about TSO-C199 from 2015:

      Here is the TSO detail:

    3. uAvionix SkyEcho2 is already being sold in the UK and elsewhere.
      It's basically a portable, 20 watt, 1090ES ADS-b in/out box.
      For collision avoidance 20 watts is plenty, and center probably would have seen the traffic with this device. (ADS-B in is not required so we can't say the Caravan pilot would have been independently warned.) The FAA has refused to allow use of SkyEcho in the USA. FAA is mostly a huge disappointment. Add these 2 lives lost to their Boeing MAX deaths.
      This was a terrible accident, and without ADS-B, about as avoidable as a bird strike.

    4. @John schreiber - If a transmitting device doesn't get it's Federal Communications Commission approval, is that a failure of the FAA?

      A glance at the info from the link you provided found the "SkyEcho is NOT approved for use in the United States." statement:

      "This device has not been authorized as required by the rules of the Federal Communications Commission. This device is not, and may not be, offered for sale or lease, or sold or leased, until authorization is obtained."

      Have to hold off blaming the FAA until the device meets the FCC requirements. Looks like the manufacturer is saying they still expect to meet those requirements eventually.

    5. I would definitely use SkyEcho if it was allowed in the USA, shame on the FAA for not allowing

    6. This could have been avoided if the 208 pilot was seeing and avoiding.

  11. Replies
    1. Unless you're trying to clear a 4900 ft mountain. Pure genius there cowboy.

    2. Checks the accident location.... No mountains!

    3. I would agree that taking a paramotor to that altitude serves no purpose at all but paramotors are subject to the same altitude restrictions placed on all small aircraft without electric systems. Outside of Class B or C they can fly to 10,000 ft if they want to just like a Piper Cub.
      I was a few miles away from this scene at the time it happened and there was considerable ground fog for awhile that morning. He may have been staying well above any remnants of fog.
      The air was clear at collision altitude. The Caravan struck the paramotor's frame from behind.
      Regardless of how dumb it might be to fly that high in a paramotor, he was within his rights to be there. Somehow the Caravan pilot simply failed to see him.

    4. Easy to hit 5000 in the mountains

    5. A Caravan flying through VFR conditions at VFR altitudes assuming EVERYONE is on ADS-B and not watching where the frack he was going was even stupider.

    6. "A Caravan flying through VFR..."
      1) The Caravan was at 5000 and about to be cleared to 6000. That's IFR altitudes.
      2)How do know the Caravan pilot "assumed everyone is on ADS-B?" Are clairvoyant?
      3) With a closure rate of between 180-220 mph, you can be looking out your windshield a not even see the other aircraft in time to take evasive action.

      It's obvious you are not a pilot. Maybe you play video games. Think before you type.

    7. I agree that taking a paraglider to that altitude and above (I've seen video of one taken to 17k feet) is putting one's life and that of others in danger. And as mentioned above, with the speed differences, there may not have been enough time to take evasive action even if the Caravan pilot saw him.

      Being 'within one's right' doesn't always imply 'prudent'.

    8. > 1) The Caravan was at 5000 and about to be cleared to 6000. That's IFR altitudes.
      That's Echo airspace, you moron. Any old bush plane can legally be flying VFR there with no radio and no ADS-B. Just because someone on the radio said "you're cleared" doesn't mean the airspace is clear from VFR traffic and you don't have to look where you're going.

      > 2)How do know the Caravan pilot "assumed everyone is on ADS-B?" Are clairvoyant?
      Don't need to be clairvoyant. If he didn't, he'd have been looking for VFR traffic. He would have had to have been looking elsewhere (email anyone?) for two minutes to not have seen the paraglider.

      > 3) With a closure rate of between 180-220 mph, you can be looking out your windshield a not even see the other aircraft in time to take evasive action
      Looks like you can't do math, either. The PPG pilot would have been headed away from the Caravan, otherwise he would have seen and avoided. So, the closing rate would have been more like 150mph. A paraglider is EASY to see at 1 mile...easier than a little Cub. One mile at 150mph is 24 seconds to not hit him.

      > It's obvious you are not a pilot.
      And now you're 0-4. You just need to not type since it's clear you can't think.

    9. It's legal to take a paramotor up to 18k feet in class G people do it all the time. Go look at US glider forum stories in there of guys looking up all of sudden they see a 737 only few hundred feet above them. One guy said a C-140 was slow close to his cockpit of his glider he could read the manufacture of the tires. See and avoid is almost useless.

  12. I used to skydive, and one time we had a Cessna pass straight underneath us about 100 ft below while we were in freefall at about 8000 ft. We were at a published drop zone with our pilot in contact with Houston center. I guess WE had no business being in that Cessnas flight path either.

    I'm not defending the paraglider pilot, but your comment is just plain ignorant.

    1. As a former skydiver and current private pilot, I'll weigh in. First, the Cessna should never have flown through an active DZ; his fault 100%.
      Second, as pilots we always take a risk of hitting birds at altitude, but a paraglider at 5000' in an active airway is suicidal. So, the comment is not "ignorant." The paraglider was stupid with a capital, "S."

      Additionally, I reviewed the NOTAMS of surrounding airfields and found nothing to indicate paraglider or similar activity in the area. Not sure if he was on a cross country excursion. It's analagous to cyclists sharing the roadway with cars, but in this case the cars occupants die too. Sad all the way around.

    2. Like you said, your skydive pilot was in contact with Houston Center. Any other VFR pilots on with center would have been warned to avoid the sky dive operations and IFR traffic (like N1116N in this accident) would have been vectored well clear. Your example is completely different from this accident because this paraglider wasn't talking to center or anyone else. No one knew he was there. He had no transponder, ADS-B out, strobes, beacons, and almost definitely wasn't big enough to be a primary target.

      While technically legal, it certainly was not wise. Even a quick phone call from the paraglider to center in advance informing them of his intentions and general route of flight could have helped avoid this accident.

    3. Paramotor flyers should be realistic about exposure to high closing rates of traffic at altitude. It is incorrect to believe that see and be seen is what is keeping the rate of mid-air collision occurrences relatively low.

      It's a big sky, in three dimensions. Probability favors randomly passing by without contact, but needlessly mingling among fast moving aircraft is going to bring this result from time to time instead of just creating another lucky miss.

  13. One just appeared in front of me one day at about 2500 feet, in area between mountains. For some reason, I was surprised. That was a close call. It wasn't a near miss -- it was a near HIT.
    On reflection, one should never be surprised. We must be ever vigilant. It's the surprises that kill you.
    This poor guy was living his dream flying that C208. He may have been on his phone taking pictures, he may have been watching the gauges, who knows.
    But he sure was not expecting that butt fan to be in his flight path.
    Who will the FAA blame for the probable cause of this one? Will the paraglider's family sue Martinaire? Will Gruss's family sue the paraglider driver? Did he even have insurance coverage?

    On the practically zero investigation I have done here - just scanning the comments, my vote goes to the cargo pilot for being 'least at fault.' But that's on an emotional level. My heart goes out to him.

    Let's think about legal standards. The FAA and NTSB will say 'failed to keep a proper lookout' and that will be correct. This might even be a situation where a legal doctrine called "Last Clear Chance" would apply. Who was in the last position to avoid the entire accident?

    Read this, especially the old English law case example of the donkey owner suing the person who drove his wagon into the donkey and killed it.


    State law governs the rights and duties of these parties in the state where the accident happened, and whether one may recover. Now the question is, does Texas apply the Last Clear Chance doctrine? Texas uses a type of comparative negligence in lawsuits of this nature, and it seems likely the jury would be instructed to apply a similar legal standard as the donkey example. That may well put blame on the poor Martinaire pilot.

  14. In today's world, no way in hell should an aircraft of any kind be at 5000' without ADSB-out or a transponder, at least. If so, we may as well let people fly drones willy nilly at all atlitudes. This was 50% on the paraglider, and 50% on the FAA for allowing it.

    1. It's unlikely that will happen any time soon. The FAA still allows aircraft to operate at uncontrolled airfields in 80% of the country without even a radio, let alone a transponder or ADS-B. I'm far more concerned about running into one of these NORDO cowboy pilots than a paramotor.

    2. The big problem here is that both aircraft were within their rights to occupy that part of the sky. They were both traveling in more or less the same direction.
      The same rules of nautical traffic also apply to aircraft. A larger or faster vessel must always yield to a slower or smaller vessel. Under this context the paramotor was to be given right-of-way over the larger and faster Caravan.
      The Caravan has good forward and side visibility. The pilot did not maintain good visual surveillance and failed to see the paramotor. He almost certainly was not expecting to encounter a paramotor at that altitude but that will not be considered a viable excuse for not maintaining a visibly clear flight path, especially when conditions at that altitude were severe clear. We can blame the FAA and others for not requiring more ADS-B or transponders on all aircraft, but all this is just doing more to keep us from using our own best collision avoidance systems- our own eyes looking outside, constantly scanning for other traffic.
      Unless other factors I am unaware of come to light that change timbre of this scenario, they are going to place the blame squarely upon the Caravan pilot. He failed to see and give way to the smaller, slower aircraft.

  15. With the advent of active traffic and ADS-B many are counting on seeing their traffic on a screen as opposed to keeping a scan going for other flying objects. I don't know if that is the case but I have seen other pilots rely too much on the "fish finder" as opposed to using a visual scan.

  16. Everyone has their panties in a bunch but this was a freak accident with a chain of circumstances leading to the holds in the swiss cheese lining up and a tragedy getting through. The Paraglider was not illegal but close to controlled airspace and the 308 was exiting controlled airspace but still relying on the ATC and the pilot was distracted at least just a little and made a cardinal mistake of forgetting (if he ever thought about it) that there were not just planes on radar are out there. Just one of those things. Technically the pilot will be at fault for not keeping a good lookout and he should have had time to see the paraglider but not if he was focusing on altitude while he waited for the ATC to clear him to 6,000. This one is more of a fate is the hunter scenario. Not much different than a car accident due to momentary confusion. You can't emotionally say the world is at fault for allowing this to happen...it just happened. If you say that paragliders should not be allowed to fly that high then you are saying people should not have fun flying and that is ridiculous. That 308 could just have easily collided with another airplane as the ATC could have ignored any aircraft outside of his area.

  17. It is improbable that the pilot could have seen the para-motor pilot or have taken evasive action to avoid this collision. This can be proven through mathematics.
    Using an Angular Size Calculator the amount of visual field occupied by a 6 foot man at a known distance can be calculated.


    A 6 foot man standing 10 feet in front of you will occupy 33.4 degrees of your vertical visual field.

    The closing velocity between the airplane and the would be about 273 feet per second given the ground speed of 162 knots of the plane. Assuming the average speed of a para motor to be about 30 mph (Outdoor Troop E-zine) this could vary by +/- 44 feet per second.

    At 3 seconds from impact (819 feet) the man would occupy 0.42 degrees of visual field.
    At 2 seconds from impact (546 feet) the man would occupy 0.63 degrees of visual field.
    At 1 second from impact (273 feet) the man would occupy 1.26 degrees of visual field or 26 times smaller than how you would see a normal man.

    There is no way that any human pilot could have avoided this in my opinion. Also the canopy was 2/3 white or blue colored and was mostly parallel to the horizon.

    1. Finally, someone that gets it (Para Motor not glider) and can back it up with logic an simple math.

      That said, the poster that said "the holes in the swiss cheese lined up" was also right. This was a tragic accident

    2. He gets nothing, he uses the size of a man when there is a huge frame and wing. PPG can be seen from easily from over a mile out.

    3. You do realize that N1116N was going 180MPH ground speed. A mile out is only 20 seconds. Depending the atmosphere condition, light direction, the cargo pilot may not have seen the glider until the last few seconds. Now you are asking a cargo pilot to be a stunt pilot.

    4. + + + The commenter on > Angular Size Calculator < and the amount of visual field

      is perhaps the most relevant comment to the cause in relation to the C208's viewpoint because it brings evidence to bear on the legal issue of the Last Clear Chance. With the ASC demonstrating the inability of a person of average skill and qualities to detect the PPG with eyesight in time to avoid a collision, the C208 pilot should be exonerated.

    5. "now you're asking the carvaan pilot to be a stunt pilot"

      No I'm arguing the person using the size of a man as the data to determine paraglider visibility is completely wrong.

      If you want to argue 20 second is abnormally short, I suggest you study up on typical response windows between conflicting aircraft. A short window is typical, it has nothing to do with it being a paraglider.

    6. The wingspan of most paragliders is more than that of a Cessna 150. They are usually multicolored patterns versus the typical white wing of a Cessna. They are also arc-shaped which also makes them stand out against the horizon. I find that they are MUCH easier to spot in the air versus small GA aircraft, especially at the same altitude. I can often spot paragliders 5 miles away or more. That is about 90s of time for avoidance if the Caravan pilot was vigilant. Even at 1 mile of range, when a paraglider is easily visible, that's almost 20 seconds of time to alter course. Count to 20 in your head and see how easy it would be to avoid this collision if you were just looking where you were going.

    7. From the U.S. Department of Transportation:
      Federal Aviation Administration
      Advisory Circular
      Subject: Pilots’ Role in Collision Avoidance
      Date: 4/19/16 AC No: 90-48D

      Table 1. Aircraft Identification and Reaction Time Chart
      See Object
      Recognize Aircraft
      Become Aware of Collision Course
      Decision to Turn Left or Right
      Muscular Reaction
      Aircraft Lag Time
      12.5 Seconds

      It appears that the 20 second margin at 1 mile to which everyone refers is only 7.5 seconds according to this FAA publication when average pilot reaction time is considered.

    8. The issue here is he person was arguing that a paraglider poses a greater collision risk due to reduced visibility when the opposite is true. It's pointless to argue if the collision was avoidable or not and to what degree. If you argue this collision was unavoidable you're just arguing all collisions are. Then you're not commenting about paragliders, you're just commenting about flight in general.

  18. Legally the paramotor pilot falls under the Part 103 ultralight regulations and per 103.13 he was required to yield to aircraft (an ultralight not being considered an "aircraft" but rather an "ultralight vehicle" for purposes of 103.13). Also 103.13 requires the ultralight pilot to operate in a manner so as not to be a hazard to aircraft.

    However, I do note that on the sectional close to where the accident occurred it is clearly stated "CAUTION Intensive Glider Activity", so the 208 pilot should have been extra vigilant. However, how many IFR pilots are looking at a VFR sectional for planning or while enroute? It may be a good idea to mark these gliding areas on the IFR enroute low charts as well.

    The present setup is not satisfactory. The paramotor pilot was operating legally, but may not have seen the 208 and even if he did may not have had the maneuverability to get out of the way. The 208 pilot may have had his head down programming the autopilot with new altitudes, fixes, or what have you. Also hard to spot a paramotor closing at that speed. ATC could not see the paramotor to give a warning. Clearly some type of ADS-B device on the paramotor would have been helpful.

    1. A couple points
      1) Putting glider warnings on the IFR low charts would be a major change of scope for those charts as no sort of similar warnings are on the charts right now. They are designed to be simple uncluttered guides to IFR navigation and not warn of any possible dangers in route. Nothing prevents IFR pilots from checking VFR charts for better situational awareness. I know I do.
      2. I would guess when most pilots see a warning of glider activity, they are thinking of aircraft that look and act like traditional gliders with transponders and anti collision lights, not paramotors. Before reading about the accident, I would have been shocked to see a paramotor at 5,000 AGL. Paramotor pilots absolutely should consider making a phone call to center to warn them before planning a flight to that altitude.

    2. "Paramotor pilots absolutely should consider making a phone call to center to warn them before planning a flight to that altitude."

      I also launch amateur High Power rockets and we (club) have to call Denver Center (ZWO) to let them know what we are doing and to open the launch window on the day of the launch. Some of our rockets go Mach 2 or more. Most launches have an altitude limit of 18,000' agl. We have to 50,000' agl launch windows per year. The FAA puts out a NOTAM for ZWO and judging from the number of times we hold the launch until a nearby aircraft is out of harm's way my guess is that nobody reads the NOTAMS. I usually have ForeFlight or FlightRadar24 up during the launch.

      I don't know how much use the warning would be for Paramotor operators but I think it's a great idea.

  19. Glider activity chart notation is related to GHSA-Wallis (TE71) glider port airfield located just five miles southwest of the N1116N accident location.

    The Greater Houston Soaring Association tows up and returns conventional sailplanes there, with 8 sailplanes and their Cessna 188A tow plane currently registered to the association. Photos of people completing glider certification on their web page reflect ongoing utilization.

    The lack of mid-air crash history involving GHSA-Wallis or other active sailplane operating areas illustrates the low occurrence rate of circumstances coming together for position, path, closing speed, conspicuity and looking away from the view forward at exactly the wrong time long enough to produce this type of accident case.

    GHSA-Wallis (TE71) location:
    A sailplane flight from Wallis video:

  20. If paragliders want to fly with big metal, they best get the same comm equipment/beacons/ADS-B/lights etc that big metal uses. Otherwise, this scenario will become the norm.

    1. The most simplest and down to the point, logical answer ^^^

  21. Unequivocally the paraglider is at fault. Per the LAW i.e Federal Regs, altitude for VFR flight is to be as follows:


    (a) When operating below 18,000 feet MSL and -

    (1) On a magnetic course of zero degrees through 179 degrees, any odd thousand foot MSL altitude + 500 feet (such as 3,500, 5,500, or 7,500); or

    (2) On a magnetic course of 180 degrees through 359 degrees, any even thousand foot MSL altitude + 500 feet (such as 4,500, 6,500, or 8,500).

    The Paraglider had NO BUSINESS being at an IFR altitude:

    (b) In uncontrolled airspace. Except while in a holding pattern of 2 minutes or less or while turning, each person operating an aircraft under IFR in level cruising flight in uncontrolled airspace shall maintain an appropriate altitude as follows:

    (1) When operating below 18,000 feet MSL and -

    (i) On a magnetic course of zero degrees through 179 degrees, any odd thousand foot MSL altitude (such as 3,000, 5,000, or 7,000); or

    (ii) On a magnetic course of 180 degrees through 359 degrees, any even thousand foot MSL altitude (such as 2,000, 4,000, or 6,000).

    He was obviously not on an IFR flight plan, and above 3500 ft. And no business being at 5000 ft where the collision happened. Unless it was at 5500 when the Cessna was climbing but I doubt it per the audio where it must have happened shortly after the pilot was told to change flight levels.

    1. The paramotor may have been climbing or descending, so legally could be passing through 5,000 feet. At any rate, per ADS-B it appears the accident took place at a geometric altitude of 4,825 feet. The Cessna was apparently still climbing and was just about to level off at 5,000 feet.

    2. Seems highly unlikely that the paramotor flyer would be keeping to any rules on altitude. Not trained for that at all.

    3. In response to the comment at 10:17:00 PM EST, aircraft fly to barometric altitudes, not geometric altitudes, so the ADS-B geometric altitude is not what you should be looking at. The ADS-B barometric altitude data shows that the aircraft was level at a pressure altitude of 4,800 feet for several minutes, and if you correct that pressure altitude for the nearby altimeter settings of 30.20, you'll get an indicated altitude of around 5,000, meaning the Cessna pilot was level at their ATC assigned altitude and not climbing.

      Additionally, the geometric altitude returned by ADS-B is the height above ellipsoid, which can be 100-200 feet lower than the equivalent true AGL altitude depending on what part of the US you are in. You need to correct the height above ellipsoid by the geoid height at your location to get true AGL.

      TL;DR don't expect ADS-B altitudes to match indicated altitudes unless you know what corrections to apply.

    4. You've literally just made up something that doesn't exist. There is no "IFR altitude" at 3500'

      There's altitude based headings IFR (and VFR) aircraft but that doesn't mean VFR aircraft can't fly above 3500'

    5. Your quoted regulations are in Part 91. Ultralight aircraft operate under Part 103. There are no similar altitude restrictions in Part 103 other than to stay out of Class A airspace, that is below 18,000 feet. Cloud clearances still apply, as well as prohibition against operating in Class B, C, and D without permission.

    6. That makes sense, because part 103 aircraft don't need an altimeter and even if they have one, it's unlikely they are in contact with ATC to get an altimeter setting, so they cannot maintain an precise altitude even if they cared to operate with that sort of precision.

  22. Legally the paramotor pilot is at fault, but neither because of the altitude he was operating at, nor because of the direction he was flying, nor because if a nearby airway, not because he was stupid. Rather ONLY because FAR103 says UL vehicles must yield to aircraft.
    However, this could have easily been a collision with something else - birds for example - with identical results for the Cessna.
    IMO, the real blame and fault lies with the FAA.
    First, they expect every pilot to be vigilant 100% of the time, something that is practically impossible. Humans cannot be expected to maintain 100% vigilance, especially after a long history of flying some machine without any close call, and especially not when in direct contact with ATC and no warning is provided.

    Even worse, there are technical options (ADS-B out for the paraglider) which would have likely prevented this accident, and which have been deployed successfully in other countries, but for whatever reason, the FAA has chosen not to allow those solutions here.

    The FAA needs to be sued for this one.

    1. Not too many feathered birds are in the 150 lbs and up weight range, able to knock the wing off a C208.

      Time to name the devices you think the FAA is holding back. Or did you mean to say the FCC needs to be sued, based on the device already mentioned in this thread that has the following statement on why it is not approved for the USA:

      "This device has not been authorized as required by the rules of the Federal Communications Commission. This device is not, and may not be, offered for sale or lease, or sold or leased, until authorization is obtained."

    2. So your solution is sue the FAA for what? to impede more freedoms because some dude decided to fly at an IFR altitude (and easy to prove how high the collision happened because of ADS-B) and break all the rules.
      103 means no certificate needed. That means a convicted felon or child molester or multiple DUI criminal can fly an ultralight.
      In fact I had a friend who got his license yanked by a DUI for 6 months seriously consider an ultralight for personal transportation... let that sink in.
      The regs of 103 specify that no one can fly above populated areas or with passengers. So praise the FAA and regs to allow us to be free to kill ourselves if irresponsible... and enjoy a fine hobby if safe and careful.

    3. See and avoid worked well before ADS-B. Seems (assumption) that now it is being relied on too much. All pilots should be extra aware on edges - edges of airspace, edges of clouds. Especially on thermic days. Soaring aircraft are often near clouds.

      Personally, I think GA pilots in general have very little understanding of air, types of air, and what might be in that air. I fly cross country in Texas often near the site of this accident. If you are below the inversion layer in VFR conditions, you need to have eyeballs out the window.

  23. For reference (and I hope the FAA takes notice), here's another paraglider artist at 17500 ft with no oxygen:


    The LAW specifically says:

    § 91.211 Supplemental oxygen.
    (a) General. No person may operate a civil aircraft of U.S. registry -

    (1) At cabin pressure altitudes above 12,500 feet (MSL) up to and including 14,000 feet (MSL) unless the required minimum flight crew is provided with and uses supplemental oxygen for that part of the flight at those altitudes that is of more than 30 minutes duration;

    (2) At cabin pressure altitudes above 14,000 feet (MSL) unless the required minimum flight crew is provided with and uses supplemental oxygen during the entire flight time at those altitudes; and

    (3) At cabin pressure altitudes above 15,000 feet (MSL) unless each occupant of the aircraft is provided with supplemental oxygen.

    This is the same kind of mentality that created this accident. Not only the pilot of the paraglider above without supplemental oxygen > 14000 ft which can be incapacitating and kill himself or someone on the ground, he is also very close to flight levels and navigating with no instrumentation or radio.

    This community really needs to monitor itself or else the big bad regs will swoop on the 103 crowd and make it impractical to fly anything there.

    Freedom isn't free and comes with responsibility...

    1. I was wondering why that paramotor guy in the video at 17,500 feet wasn't using oxygen. I think it's because the oxygen regs only apply to "a civil aircraft of U.S. registry", and ultralights are not registered (have no N-number). A weird loophole.

    2. I see that too.. BUT regs are written in blood and basically if a stupid regulation exists, it is because someone did something stupider. Here common sense applies and indeed part 103 is basically a license to go kill just yourself if you are that careless but part 91 regs do apply.
      Numerous times he mentions being out of breath. Had he passed out he would be a statistic or worst he could come down on someone or a vehicle and kill them.
      There is 0 reason to fly an ultralight that high. Most enjoy it as a hobby to hug the ground and enjoy the thrills and scenery.

    3. At 8:50 into the 17.5k paramotor video, the pilot says "I'm never doing this again. I saw like 3 jets, I see one right now..." Sounds like after the fact, he realized the big risk of mid air collision his little high altitude excursion exposed him to.

    4. I figured it would be Tucker Gott and it wasn't... so there's more of them that push the envelope. At least this one recognized that he wasn't being smart :o(

    5. Part 91 regulations do not apply to ultralight aircraft. They are regulated under Part 103 and the supplemental oxygen requirements do not exist there.

    6. It's bewildering how people would choose and defend loopholes over common sense. Oxygen is required above certain heights for a reason. Because the regulation made no mention of it in part 103 doesn't mean the reasoning doesn't apply. Maybe the regulators weren't expecting an ultralight to be at that altitude.

      This isn't about someone's right, it's about life and death.

  24. As an instrument-rated pilot with 1500 hours AND a powered paraglider pilot, I would say:

    --in the real world, a pilot flying IFR very frequently has his head down for 10 or more seconds at a time twisting one dial or another

    --there is no advantage to being at 5000 feet. PPG flying is all about being able to go low and slow safely and enjoy the view. 500-1000 feet AGL is plenty except when traversing forests where additional altitude gives more options for landing after an engine failure

    --PPG's do not have the maneuverability of an airplane. In case of an imminent collision, it is much easier for an airplane to abruptly change direction than a PPG

    --Although a $2000 ADSB Out beacon would be a very substantial addition to the cost of a PPG (about $15,000 total) IMHO it would be an acceptable requirement for PPG pilots who want or need to be out of class G airspace

    --Assigning blame in this situation is not helpful. Sometimes stuff happens; we just need to learn how to make it happen less often.

    1. Well said. ADS-B is actually decreasing in costs because it is a safety of flight issue and the FAA wants it in all aircrafts. Kinda like seatbelts where requirements were also loosened as any shoulder harness is better than no shoulder harness at all.
      One class of aircrafts excluded per 91.215 are also non electrics i.e Taylorcrafts and piper cubs.
      This means see and avoid still applies although here there was no humane way for the Cessna pilot to see the tiny dot the PPG was...
      Below 10k ft aircrafts can go as fast as 250 knots...


      Although the PPG was legal at his ridiculously low speed of < 50 mph at 5k he was basically a stationary target unable to move out of the way or keep up with traffic.

      The carelessness is on his side considering there is no way for an aircraft to see an avoid such a danger. Up there with some dude flying a drone at 5k in terms of danger.

    2. Don't both Mode-S and UAT ADS-B out transmitters also require you to have at a minimum a certified and calibrated mode-C transponder? I don't think you can just add an ADS-B out transmitter to any random aircraft that is not equipped with a transponder. Mentioning this because most paragliders do not have a transponder and adding one would be an additional expense.

  25. scheduled Martinaire 685 flight IAH Houston, TX to VCT Victoria, TX every other day. The previous recorded flightaware track indicates typical FL <55 @ 15 min into the flight, then climbing to Fl 70 to 80.

    1. There is no "FL 55, 70, 80, for a cessna 208 caravan. (FL) (Flight Levels) do not start until 18,000' and above. Please do not confuse the general public with incorrect terminology. It's 5500',7000', 8000', etc, NOT Flight Levels.

    2. mistaken use in US airspace. In Europe, transition altitudes can be as low as 3,000 or 4,000 feet msl. In Germany, for example, typical transition altitudes run around 5,000 feet msl. In the United Kingdom, it’s usually 3,000 feet, but 6,000 feet in the London area. Example as "After two unsuccessful clean-stall exercises flown by the co-pilot, the pilot intended to demonstrate a stall at FL80." @ https://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=20010319-1

    3. That's probably the typical clearance. on departure climb maintain 5 thousand expect 6 thousand one zero minutes

  26. Would the color of parachute made any difference? I would have not seen him. I'd have had too many tasks on hand. The ATC att change would have eaten up any free space/time there was. Simple by the pilot asking about the altitude change and knowing in the back of his brain, Wrong direction/Wrong Altitude??
    I know as pilots we have to constantly train for engine failures, stalls...ect. But this one, how do you train?
    They may never had seen each other depending on the attitude of the plane and where the pilot's eyes were looking. How about the paraglider pilot? Did he see it coming and tried some evasive maneuver? What scares me a bit is I know I would have died. I'm going to sim it and find out how I would have avoided it. Prayers for the families.

  27. My heart goes out to both families. I doubt I would have ever seen this paraglider pilot unless I happened to be looking exactly where he was flying withing 5 to 10 seconds of impact. If I had taken a few seconds to change frequencies, change an altitude bug, write a piece of information on my kneeboard, or look for other traffic in a different direction ATC was seeing on their radar, my fate would be the same as Robert’s.

    Unlike winged gliders, ATC can’t “see” paraglider pilots on primary radar. Even if their radar was sensitive enough to detect an object as small as a 6 ft man, it would probably be filtered out since a paraglider ground speed is below your typical threshold of 30-40 kts to prevent clutter.

    Due to the shape and color of the paraglider wing (mostly light colors), you are probably more likely to see the person suspended below the wing than the actual paraglider wing. Where I fly in Florida, we have a lot of Turkey Vultures which have a wingspan of up to 6 ft. With their wings spread out and banked 30+ degrees in a thermal, they probably have a visual cross-sectional area close to that of a paraglider pilot. Sometimes you don’t spot them till they’re a few hundred feet away. Even if you argued that a man hanging from a paraglider has twice the visual cross-sectional area as a Turkey Vulture with a 6 ft wingspan, it still doesn’t improve the situation by much. I have friends who didn’t spot and hit Turkey Vultures in flight in both Pipers and Cessna, but since they rarely weigh more than 5 lb, damage is typically minimal (the biggest threat is actually breaking through the plexiglass windshield and injuring the pilot).

    Even if you did see a paraglider wing at or slightly above your altitude close to impact, your instinct would be to push forward on the controls before your brain had time to register that it was a paraglider and that by pushing forward you would most likely strike the pilot suspended below.

    As a side note, some people are saying Robert should have know he was flying near an area of “Intensive glider activity” and should have expected a “glider”. I do not agree. (1) As a pilot, you would have been looking at your IFR charts, not VFR charts. Looking at a VFR chart when flight planning isn’t a bad idea, but how often do you know how ATC will vector you around and what your final route will look like? (2) Even if you knew there was an area with a lot of gliders along your route, ATC will almost always vector you around an area of active glider activity at your altitude. They can see conventional gliders on primary radar. They can also see tow planes (when used) on primary and secondary radar as well. I live in an area with a lot of glider activity and ATC always vectors IFR traffic around and advises VFR traffic when gliders are active. (3) As a pilot, you don’t expect gliders above a few thousand feet AGL over flat areas (no ridge soaring) until later in the day when there are thermals.

    This tragic event has taught me just how important it is to always expect the unexpected and how important it is to constantly visually scan for traffic. However, even with all the many added layers of protection of ATC, primary radar, secondary radar, ADS-B in/out, designated cruising altitudes for VFR and IFR traffic, anti-collision lights, etc., all it takes is looking down at your flight instruments for a few seconds and your life, and those of your passengers, could end as it did for Robert.

    1. You're overestimating the capabilities of ARSR and assuming that a hit without a transponder would be given consideration (it wouldn't).

      Saying you shouldn't look out for gliders while flying through a warning area is just ridiculous.

  28. If that was his regular route he should be very familiar with the area. But still hard to see and avoid when dealing with ATC... He should just have vectors around the area every time. High wing Cessna have some lateral limited visibility issues compared to low wing aircraft.

  29. Maybe he was out there by himself and there was no active drop zone in published Notams..

  30. ADS B isn't likely happening for a long while for these things.

    How about some freaking battery powered strobes? If you're dragging your butt motor into the thousands of feet agl without at least strobes you've got some sort of personal malfunction.

  31. Just so you know that Texas is where all the long flights are being made. A 600 klm flight was just recorded.
    It's not unusual to fly up to 15k on long flights.We generally talk with the local airports on transiting thru an area.
    There are many transport pilots flying Hangliders and Paragliders.
    Been a pilot for 40 years and have flown all over the world.

    1. what's the attraction to hanging from Hangliders and Paragliders over long distances, and at what elevations?

    2. It is a dirt cheap way to leave terrafirma.

    3. I routinely fly over Class D in a non powered flex wing hangglider. I never talk to airports. I stay out of the D, going over or around. The attraction to flying long distances in a soaring aircraft? Simple, unlike flying a GA powered aircraft, doing long distances in a soaring craft takes skill.

  32. In my opinion it was near impossible for the Cessna pilot to see a practically immobile (compared to his own speed) and minuscule target that was not communicating with ATC at close to an IFR altitude and on a busy airway.
    The situation is similar to a cyclist with no driver license deciding to navigate the lanes of the I-10 near Santa Monica in LA at night with no lights and mostly black clothing.
    Is it "legal"? Considering he has no license to suspend yes, it is safe... absolutely not.

    1. The cyclist in your description may not have a license to suspend, but such activity is certainly illegal and he would be subject to fines and/or other consequences. The paramotor pilot was evidently ignorant of the dangers of being where he was but there is no law stating that he could not fly there.

    2. The problem with your analogy is that when I hit that cyclist with my car, he is dead but I'm fine (physically). Imagine instead someone dropping a 12' x 6' concrete pillar on the I-10 high speed lane at night. And you hit that at speed. This isn't just about fines or risk to the 'cyclist'. This is about someone else making casual decisions about their own life as well as MINE when I am flying.

  33. ...but I need a license to fly a 9oz quad drone below treetop level in my own backyard?

    ...I'm jus' sayin'.

    1. If rules seem so stupid it means someone did something stupider... idiots with drones are aplenty. Just sayin'

  34. If consumer drones (DJI) already have ADS-B In, I don't think it is too much to ask for glider pilots to have some sort of ADS-B capability. I know glider community will probably be up and arm against this since it adds another cost to their sport. However, let's face it, our sky is becoming increasing crowded, this will happen again if there is ADSB is not enforced.

    1. This was studied previously. Low occurrence rate of two incidents in a three year period at the time made it difficult to justify universally, cold-hearted as that seems.

      Another reality to be considered is operation of the equipment. The glider that was hit by the Hawker in the non-fatal accident that prompted review was equipped with a transponder, but the transponder was not turned on at the time of the accident.

      Effective antenna placement and electrical power were discussed, along with the understanding that TCAS prediction of intercept course works best when aircraft stay on headings that are steady long enough to resolve the required avoidance. Many considerations are involved.


  35. I don't want to die flying my aircraft because I slam into a paraglider, a drone, or even some RC plane. I am at a loss over how these things can happen. I just saw a video of a kid taking a paraglider to 17,500 feet. It is frustrating that there are so many rules for pilots and so few for everyone else. This young man is dead, this paraglider is too. Completely unnecessary. Why isn't this regulated for pete's sake.

    1. Terrible as this accident was, the probability of occurrence was near zero until the Caravan pilot needed to look away from the view ahead. The paramotor certainly couldn't overtake the C208 from behind or close at a high rate from left or right relative to C208 travel speed.

      And be careful what you wish for. Your airplane needs that mass of enthusiastic two-stroke piston engine people to help you fight the threat to GA from internal combustion engine bans that are coming. That push won't stop at just leaf blowers, generators and cars.

    2. There has been plenty of talk on this site regarding how easy it is to spot a PPG at 1 or even 5 miles away. How can people tell you when they can't see them? There is no way of telling what the "false negative" rate of spotting is.

  36. The Part 103 community needs to be made more aware of the increased risks associated with high altitude flying in Class E airspace near the Class B boundaries, especially when they are near the whole thousands of feet msl (e.g. 4000'msl, 5000'msl, 6000'msl, 7000'msl, 8000'msl, 9000'msl, and 10000'msl).

    1. I wouldn't stop at just talking about the risks of whole thousands of feet, what about the VFR traffic at the 500s? VFR lives matter too and plenty of bigger faster traffic that would cruise below 18k flies VFR (or flies at VFR on top altitudes, like many of these Fedex Caravans tend to do).

  37. Agree Part 103 community needs to be much more aware of risks operating at "high" altitude. I live next to Fulshear, and while I've NEVER seen a single glider (which can certainly operate at very high altitudes) I've seen plenty para-glider, hot air balloon and GA aircraft activity... heck, there's a grass runway community right there (Covey Trails Airport), with several dozen GA aircraft operating, mostly biplanes, seems like. If Mr. Tuttle had been flying a Kolb, Quicksilver Sprint, Titan Tornado or even one of those biplanes, would it have made any difference? I had a flock of pelicans land in lake behind my house. Very large birds (50-70 inch wingspans) and can fly at 10K ft. The town of Eagle Lake (known as Texas duck hunter's paradise) is only a few miles away. While ducks typically fly in formation at 2K - 4K, ducks can easily fly at or above 5K. A jet hit a mallard over Nevada at 21K. There's also Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge nearby. What am I getting at? Need to vigilantly use your Mark IV eyeballs when flying near these small airports in uncontrolled airspace & also bird zones (as I call them), especially when you're at low altitude. I say that b/c I used to be a Part 103 flyer in the 90's. No radio, no altimeter, nor were we required to have them. We often used local radio towers of known height as our altimeter. And there was no substitute for the Mark IV eyeball. I once lost a friend who was driving through a green light. She was legal and within the law, but you can still be "legal and dead." Simply because the heavily loaded big rig couldn't stop when his yellow light turned red. While legal, is it safe to operate a Part 103 that "high?" I personally never flew above 2000 - 2500 ft. If I'd wanted to fly higher, I suspect I'd at least have purchased strobes, even though not required. But I don't know if that would hv made a difference in this case - can only speculate what Caravan pilot was doing before impact - these para-gliders are as large or larger than some of the biplanes I see flying around Fulshear. If all these experienced jet & turbo-prop pilots I read about on this website are stalling & spinning on circling landings, then you shouldn't expect 103 pilots to be any smarter. Expect the unexpected. Get your head out of the cockpit when you're flying low. AVIATE / NAVIGATE / COMMUNICATE, in that order. Will be interesting to see how this pans out in the court system. I truly feel for both pilots' families though.

    1. Strobes could make a difference because of the chance to be noticed from farther away. A Pilot about to look down for a cockpit task may detect the strobe and keep looking to figure it out.

      If the strobe is small/low power, not much benefit on a bright sunny day. High power version such as used on towers unlikely on a PPG.

  38. The modern strobes are getting brighter. Some of the ones on the rear of school buses hurt my eyes in daylight. Part 103 guys need to brighten up and fly right.
    The higher "whole thousands of feet" altitudes are more risky than the "+500" altitudes because the VFR pilots look out the windshield more than the IFR guys do.

  39. All the comments on the paragliding altitude....really? Do you think the guy even had an altimeter?
    The fixed wing crowd seems hell bent on blaming him. (I am in that crowd, never hung under a canopy myself) I see too many complacent fixed wing pilots to agree. Many believe flight following relieve one from needing to look around. As SIC in charter jets, I often flew vfr after the captain cancelled IFR to avoid circuitous routing from the new York area coming home empty. The company policy was to go at least 280KTS at low altitude for time savings. Please, do NOT tell me about the 250 limit below 10000. These flights were across north New Jersey, with a fair amount of glider activity. The same idiot fellows who cancelled IFR usually proceeded to sit head down doing paperwork to avoid doing so after landing...so one guy (me) was looking out and flying. Some gliders passed by mighty fast.
    I suspect that a skydiver or a paraglider is more visible than a conventional glider due to area and possibly coloring. They are certainly slower.
    I don't know what happened, but can very easily picture a complacent 208 pilot, a/p engaged, not being overly aware of what he is overtaking.

    1. It seems to have been day VFR. It would be nice if the 208 pilot would have been alert enough to miss birds. I know that they can be easy to miss seeing, but a human, an engine/prop, and enough colored fabric to hold it all up?
      Come on. Not seeing that is not looking too hard. The paraglider was allowed to be there. The 208 driver is required...required! to be looking for him! You have to, and even if you don't care about that, it just might extend your lifespan.
      The parasail very well might have been overtaken from behind. The aircraft overtaking should yield.
      I made the last anonymous comment also...when instructing, I heard many comments about bad radio technique approaching airports, and in the pattern. I do agree with them, and announce my position, intentions, etc., but can't forget that aircraft like this parasail, ultralight, even larger antique aircraft are around that have no radios. BAD attitude to think those people had better stay out of your way. Just because you're burning jet A doesn't mean everyone bows as you pass by. This applies also to some of the stupid pattern etiquette that happens at uncontrolled fields when a 135 aircraft shows up.

    2. Wrong! The paraglider is "LEGALY REQUIRED" under Part 103, ultralight regulations and per 103.13, to "YEILD TO ALL AIRCRAFT". (An ultralight is not considered an "aircraft" but rather an "ultralight vehicle" for the purposes of 103.13). Also, 103.13 "requires the ultralight pilot to operate in a manner so as not to be a hazard to any aircraft".

      The Cessna 208 was on an IFR flight plan as follows:

      Origin Airport:
      KIAH 29.9844353 -95.3414425 201° n/a 123 0 miles
      Reporting Point:
      KEEDS 29.3665250 -95.6136056 225° 46 86 46 miles
      PSX 28.7644247 -96.3061808 280° 59 38 102 miles
      Destination Airport:
      KVCT 28.8542058 -96.9187322 n/a 38 0 123 miles

    3. Hmmm...FAR 91 applies to everyone...91.113(f)..an overtaking aircraft shall alter course..the "overtaken" aircraft has the right of way.

      91.113(f)...when weather conditions permit (it appears that they DID), REGARDLESS of whether an operation is conducted under instrument or visual flight rules, vigilance shall be maintained so as to see and avoid other aircraft.
      Thus...the instrument plan and route of the 208 do not matter a bit.
      Very dangerous attitude...that those on instruments don't need to be Watching. Stupid and deadly, actually!
      103.13 is titled: Operation near aircraft! I think it's likely that the paraglider pilot thought he was "all by his lonesome" right up until he was run over.
      The paragliders top speed was probably roughly half of the stall speed of the 208.
      Is there any way, regardless of the paragliders direction, that it was not overtaken? No, not really. The 208 was probably going 5 or 6 times the speed..many birds are faster than the para-thing!
      Due to the speed difference, it is CERTAIN that at some point, the 'para' was in the 208's field of vision..if he was watching, it was in front of him.
      The 'para' MAY have been able to see the 208. MAYBE, if he was going in that direction.
      So- ability to see: 208=definitely...'para'=maybe. Then factor in the maneuverability. I don't know much about the paras...maybe kind of sluggish?
      So...your 103 quote and IFR flight plan don't mean much, at least to me. Tragic accident anyway. I thought a lot of the 135 guys I flew with thought they were top gun, and no longer had to bother with traffic patterns, looking outside, and slower GA traffic in general. I hated it sometimes, and even apologized to GA traffic that we had cut off going into uncontrolled fields in a Lear. (When I was not the 'PF') Nobody wins a midair. The 10 lb crankshaft alone from that paraglider could take out that 208, and it will never just be that, it will come with the rest of the engine and a human! A few pounds of birds took out Sully's Airbus.
      Opening with "Wrong!"- cool! Way to make your point! Almost worked.

    4. Oops 91.113(b), not (f), covers the 'everybody has to look around when able' requirement. Required or not, I do it to stay alive! I don't wear seatbelts or helmets because of the laws, either.

    5. Same guy here again...I hadn't read 103 much before this, and find the wording of it curious...103.13 starting out "operation near aircraft". Of course you are near prior to a collision!
      So-why say that? Maybe the intent was to prevent these slow things from "hanging out" in the pattern, or near small uncontrolled airports constantly claiming right of way due to being slow. It would really disrupt things on busy days.
      I'm pretty sure the dead para guy thought he was alone enjoying a nice day, NOT near other craft, until 180kt 208 came along, in probably a fairly straight line, not looking ahead for something bigger visually than a 150. Probably would have run over a 150, too.
      But, yes, I really don't know that. Bad day for both.

    6. Interpreting 103.13 the way "wrong!" does would mean that any fixed wing pilot can run down any 'para' pilot, without any liability to worry about. Impunity!
      It's the "death" part that keeps me looking around, not those legal laws.

    7. Here's why "wrong" is right.

      Part 103-Ultralight Vehicles:

      To be considered an ultralight vehicle, a hang glider must weigh less than 155 pounds; while a powered vehicle must weigh less than 254 pounds; is limited to 5 U.S. gallons of fuel; must have a maximum speed of not more than 55 knots; and must have a power off stall speed of no more than 24 knots. Both powered and unpowered ultralight vehicles are limited to a single occupant.
      The FAA has chosen not to promulgate Federal regulations regarding pilot certification, vehicle certification, and vehicle registration.

      Section 103.13 Operations near aircraft and other ultralight vehicles:

      An additional provision is added to clarify the right-of-way requirements in situations involving powered and unpowered ultralight vehicles.

      The FAA has determined that uncertificated sport operations should not be given the right-of-way over all other aircraft. The small size and sport nature of the operations is a major factor in that determination it is unlikely that the pilot of aircraft will be able to see the ultralight vehicle as readily as the pilot of the ultralight vehicle will be able to see or hear the larger aircraft. Due to the forward speeds of the majority of aircraft, it may be impossible for the aircraft to make sudden changes of direction required to avoid small objects sighted at close quarters.

    8. ^^ Readers need a link to the original 103 Preamble that contains that text block of "The FAA has determined ..unlikely to see"

      Here it is, look for it at the top of the center column of text, top of page marked 38774:


    9. mr "wrong" is not right. First, all aircraft are bound by the same regulations to not operate as a hazard.

      Second, ultralights are aircraft. Go read the definitions under 1.1. Ultralights are both "aircraft" and "ultralight vehicles". In part 91 when aircraft are referred to as the primary subject ultralights are exempt (91.1(e)), when they are the secondary subject, they are encompassed by the general definition.

      91.113(e) Absolutely applies to an aircraft operating under part 91 overtaking any other aircraft including an ultralight aircraft period.

      Situations where two aircraft are ordered by the regulations to yield to each other are not rare. The Caravan was required to divert right, the paramotor was required to hold course, or you could also argue it needed to ascend to the left.

      Paragliders are nowhere near as difficult to see as people in these comments want to claim. They are more visible than your typical 172. And if there is a collision risk they will appear straight ahead.

    10. Again, here's why "Wrong is "Right"
      Please read and understand the regulations before making inaccurate comments.

      First, I do agree both the pilot of the 208, and the "operator" of the ultralight should/could have been vigilant in their see and avoid techniques. That being said, being on an IFR flight plan can give the pilot a "false sense of security" in that "I'm on an IFR flight plan the controller is looking out for me and has my back, surely they won't let me fly into a mid-air collision situation". Well, if they can't see it, they can't advise you either. You do need to be aware of other possible "hazards" that are looming along your route like an unknown ultralight.

      Next, a "TRUE" ultralight, powered or un-powered is "NOT AN AIRCRAFT", it is an "ultralight vehicle" by definition according to the FAA, and part 91
      DOES NOT apply to TRUE ultralights, although part 91 Does apply to the 208. Part 103 is the controlling regulations for ultralight operations. I'll attach link at the end.
      Although an ultralight can be registered, it must have an aircraft certification, pilot certification, and aircraft registration and is considered an "aircraft" at that point. It can be an aircraft, if properly documented and certified but, it CAN NOT be both an aircraft and an ultralight vehicle simultaneously. If registered and certificated, it would then be regulated by part 91 as an aircraft. This accident appears that the ultralight was not registered, or certified, but an actual ultralight vehicle, which makes part 103.. applicable.

      Finally, an additional provision is added to clarify the right-of-way requirements in situations involving powered and unpowered ultralight vehicles. It reads as follows:

      The FAA has determined that uncertificated sport operations should not be given the right-of-way over all other aircraft. The small size and sport nature of the operations is a major factor in that determination it is unlikely that the pilot of aircraft will be able to see the ultralight vehicle as readily as the pilot of the ultralight vehicle will be able to see or hear the larger aircraft. Due to the forward speeds of the majority of aircraft, it may be impossible for the aircraft to make sudden changes of direction required to avoid small objects sighted at close quarters.

      No intention on assigning blame or pointing fingers, just stating facts.
      Rules are rules, Laws are laws, and Regulations are regulations.



    11. "Please read and understand the regulations before making inaccurate comments."

      Take your won advice. Case law from the NTSB says ultralights are aircraft, case law from the ALJ says ultralights are aircraft, the AGC will tell you so if you call them. This is not up for discussion. An AC from 50 years ago is fully superseded and irrelevant. Again 1.1 is where aircraft are defined, go read it yourself.

      No one said ultralights are bound by part 91. But part 91 plots ARE bound by part 91 (why does this need to be said), and when they must act a certain way in regard to the plain word "aircraft" that definition comes from 1.1, and that includes ultralights. Period.

    12. ^^ RE: "No one said ultralights are bound by part 91."

      Would you agree that ultralight vehicles (FAA doesn't call them aircraft) are bound by Part 103 of the current E-FAR?

      Here is what is in 103 right now about right of way:

      103.13 Operation near aircraft; right-of-way rules.

      (a) Each person operating an ultralight vehicle shall maintain vigilance so as to see and avoid aircraft and shall yield the right-of-way to all aircraft.


      Totally consistent with the original Part 103 preamble of 40 years ago and the realization that you can't expect aircraft to see and avoid ultralight vehicles. Nice if aircraft can help out, but the ultralight vehicle operator has the yield burden.

      If you insist on entering the regulation discussion, reading is a required skill.

    13. You're not making any relevant point, "mr wrong" was wrong, ultralights are aircraft. You were wrong in defending that error(you're probably the same person anyway).

      "If you insist on entering the regulation discussion, reading is a required skill."

      This is called projection. ROW was already discussed too bad you didn't apply some of that "reading skill" you tout to have.

      "91.113(e) Absolutely applies to an aircraft operating under part 91 overtaking any other aircraft including an ultralight aircraft period.

      Situations where two aircraft are ordered by the regulations to yield to each other are not rare. The Caravan was required to divert right, the paramotor was required to hold course, or you could also argue it needed to ascend to the left."

      This is a pointless discussion because you clearly have a prejudiced belief you will cling to regardless of the facts. After each new erroneous "point" you make is objectively knocked down you'll just come back with erroneous one. Absolutely nothing will change your mind and it's not my interest to do so anyway. The facts have been shared and the errors corrected. Goodbye "Mr wrong"

    14. Odd to see someone believe that anything "knocks down" the specific 103.13 requirement that the para-operator violated.

      The para-operator was required to maintain vigilance and yield right of way. He didn't. If he had, the accident could not have happened.

      Could not have happened if 103.13 was followed is the central point to understand.

      The person who was posting here's why "Wrong is "Right" didn't want to point fingers, but somebody should. A para-operator who is circling and maintaining his vigil with full intention of meeting his responsibilities while aloft doesn't have to rely on others to see him. It's not complicated.

    15. Three times You have failed to read.

      "91.113(e) Absolutely applies to an aircraft operating under part 91 overtaking any other aircraft including an ultralight aircraft period.

      Situations where two aircraft are ordered by the regulations to yield to each other are not rare. The Caravan was required to divert right, the paramotor was required to hold course, or you could also argue it needed to ascend to the left."

    16. LOL - The failed to read assertion is hilarious. You seem to think that 91.113(e) applies to overtaking, but 91.113(e) is for approaching head-on.

      You just don't seem to be able to grasp why the FAA requires the pokey ultralight to be vigilant and yield right of way by regulation, all the time, to everyone.

      The FAA arranged the rules that way so that there should never be a circumstance where part 91.113 comes into consideration when one of the vehicles is a part 103 flyer. The 103 flyer is required to stay out of the way and 91.113 is not invoked.

      Here is the 91.113 e-far link for next time so you don't embarrass yourself in further mis-quotings:


    17. 91.113(f) was the intended quotation, which you could easily tell since overtaking was plainly stated. It only took 3 times for you to actually read. Good job!

      "The FAA arranged the rules that way so that there should never be a circumstance where part 91.113 comes into consideration when one of the vehicles is a part 103 flyer. The 103 flyer is required to stay out of the way and 91.113 is not invoked."

      Except this exact situation, where by all indications the caravan flew into the back of the paramotor. 91.113(f) absolutely applies to the caravan pilot when overtaking the ultralight aircraft, and common sense tells you the same. Once again;

      "91.113(f) Absolutely applies to an aircraft operating under part 91 overtaking any other aircraft including an ultralight aircraft period.

      Situations where two aircraft are ordered by the regulations to yield to each other are not rare. The Caravan was required to divert right, the paramotor was required to hold course, or you could also argue it needed to ascend to the left."

    18. Someone else was having that wrong is right conversation with you. Finding the official original 103 Preamble to see what the FAA presented in their original rule making was of interest - hence the ""^^ Readers need a link to the original 103 Preamble" post.

      It is clear from the totality of the original written preamble logic and current 103 regulation that the FAA arranged the rules such that a paramotor operator is required to actively preclude getting himself into the situation of this accident. Whether the C208 could see him in time or not doesn't change that fact.

      Although the C208 pilot might have seen and maneuvered to correct for the paramotor operator's failure to follow the 103 rules, only the paramotor operator could have precluded the accident circumstances from coming into alignment in the first place.

    19. The preamble has nothing to do with the modern day environment or regulations, it has been entirely superseded and much of it is contradicted in the present. The regulations and *active* ACs are what matter.

      There's no indication the paramotor failed to follow 103. Every indication is that both pilots had the responsibility to yield. Shall I re-paste it yet again?

      "91.113(f) Absolutely applies to an aircraft operating under part 91 overtaking any other aircraft including an ultralight aircraft period.

      Situations where two aircraft are ordered by the regulations to yield to each other are not rare. The Caravan was required to divert right, the paramotor was required to hold course, or you could also argue it needed to ascend to the left."

      Or if you're attempting to circle back the the hazardous operations fallacious argument;

      "all aircraft are bound by the same regulations to not operate as a hazard." That responsibility is born by both aircraft.

    20. "Unknown:" Please concede the fact You CANNOT comprehend the rules and Regulations correctly.
      Specifically... FAR 91.1 says:

      " § 91.1 Applicability.
      (a) Except as provided in paragraphs (b), (c), (E), and (f) of this section and §§ 91.701 and 91.703, this part prescribes rules governing the operation of aircraft within the United States, including the waters within 3 nautical miles of the U.S. coast.

      You keep "HARPING" on "91.113 sub "F" which are 107 Regs, which is NOT applicable in this case. 91.1 specifically identifies part 103 aircraft
      under 91.1 sub "E" and says "(e) This part (91.1) DOES NOT APPLY TO "ANY" AIRCRAFT OR VEHICLE GOVERNED BY PART 103 OF THIS CHAPTER, or subparts B, C, or D of part 101 of this chapter. This means the 208 has the "absolute right of way" and the ultralight MUST yield to ANY aircraft PERIOD.

      In simple terms, so maybe even YOU can even understand, hopefully, part 103 aircraft, which this aircraft was operating as, are regulated by part 103 and are "EXEMPT" from the requirements of 91.1 Reg's and MUST follow The rules and Regulations of part 103 PERIOD.
      Here are a couple of links for your edification (Edification is defined as as an intellectual improvement) or more simply put, for your understanding.


      This is why "Wrong is Right"


    21. By not accepting the FAR 103.13 requirement that the para-operator is required to maintain vigilance and yield right of way, the poster you people have been responding to exhibits the same mindset as skateboarders who launch themselves out into city traffic while sliding down handrails on steps in front of buildings.

      Another posting gets it right, saying:
      "I stay low if I'm flying a motorized ultralight, but when I'm soaring altitude is my fuel, so I fill up as much as legally allowed while watching, listening, and circling so as to not be run over up there."

    22. "In simple terms, so maybe even YOU can even understand, hopefully, part 103 aircraft, which this aircraft was operating as, are regulated by part 103 and are "EXEMPT" from the requirements of 91.1"

      This was already explained to you;

      "No one said ultralights are bound by part 91. But part 91 plots ARE bound by part 91 (why does this need to be said)"

      Ultralights being exempt from part 91 does not relieve the caravan pilot from following part 91. The ultralight pilot is not required to follow the provisions of 91.113(f) they are exempt, the caravan pilot is required to follow 91.113(f), he is not exempt.

      or "put in a way maybe even "you" can understand" alcohol is not bound to follow part 91 either, you still have to follow 91.17 and not drink it.

    23. "By not accepting the FAR 103.13 requirement that the para-operator is required to maintain vigilance and yield right of way"

      No one said the paramotor doesn't have to yield ROW, but every indication is the caravan ran into the back of the paramotor, and in that case the responsibility is shared.

      "91.113(f) Absolutely applies to an aircraft operating under part 91 overtaking any other aircraft including an ultralight aircraft period.

      Situations where two aircraft are ordered by the regulations to yield to each other are not rare. The Caravan was required to divert right, the paramotor was required to hold course, or you could also argue it needed to ascend to the left."

    24. It isn't possible to run into the back of a paramotor who maintains vigilance and yields right of way as required.

      Skateboarder mindset to think otherwise.

    25. It isn't possible to run into the back of any aircraft if you maintain vigilance and divert to the right. As required.

    26. Arguing from a skateboarder mentality in this case.

      Skater video, same vigilance disregard, Car driver's fault?

  40. ADS-B. strobes, VFR, IFT. blah blah blah. Get your head out of the cockpit on CAVU days, with very low wind speeds, especially when you are approaching areas with PARACHUTE AND GLIDER icons depicted on the VFT sectional like in this accident. Hey FAA, night be a good idea to put those icons on low altitude IFR charts and approach plates.

  41. Earlier comments about vfr/ifr altitudes are pretty useless. A guy flying 181 deg would be at the same altitude as one flying 359 deg, but they would still make a loud noise when they meet.

    You have to look. Your GPS, fms, iPhone, atc, flight plan, flight following, radar, good intentions, good looks, whatever, will not prevent this! Definitely not quoting FARs.

    But your eyes will.

    The arguments against this simple fact, prompted by this accident, are astonishing, dumb, make me wonder about common sense and priorities in the air. Just like driving..its the fu@*/&×ing screens! Pay attention!

    1. Common sense should also be applied to para-recreation operating decisions. A hobby that started as simple Rogallo wing gliding from elevated locations has morphed into what is effectively powered barrage balloons meandering among aircraft that are on course to destinations.

      Arguing the regulations and unblinking watch-keeping won't change the fundamental decision making failure by the para-operator that made this collision possible: It wasn't necessary to be more than 1000' AGL to enjoy the para-contraption.

      Needlessly positioning yourself where collision is more likely to occur is foolish. Relying on others to see you when your back is toward them and your minimal forward speed shortens their available reaction time is not a plan.

    2. Not to mention the caravan was flying a the wrong altitude for his heading anyway. (as directed by ATC and he complained about)

  42. Additional chart marking of known glider operating areas is a non-solution for all the random locations that footy-flyers launch from.

  43. The "target" was large, probably visually larger than a da20 or 152, or even larger, despite its low mass.
    At some point, the "target" was no doubt directly in the field of vision of the 208 pilot. Whether the "target" was facing the 208 or not isn't known, but the 208 was facing it.

    Most importantly, it was day, and it was VMC. (The IFR flight plan doesn't change the weather, or the REQUIREMENT- far91.113(b)- to look!) 208s fly visually all the time and don't hit each other. The 208 guy was asleep at the wheel. The 25mph "target" didn't sneak up on him.
    The black clad bicyclist at night analogy isn't really close.

  44. I know little about the paramotors, but was looking up wing area.. a 150 is 160 square feet. The typical areas for a paramotor seem to be about double that, and they are curved in flight, likely making more of the surface visible to an observer at the same altitude. In the pictures, I see red white and blue fabric, so it was brightly colored, and twice the size of a 150.
    A 150 viewed head or tail-on, at the same altitude, has very little area to see.
    A glider would be even smaller, and they often don't provide a good primary target on radar.
    If the 208 guy didn't see a big red white and blue thing that was virtually stationary, he sure as heck would have missed (then hit) either of those, especially if they presented their smallest profile (head on) and their significant speed reduced his time window. Any other single engine plane, for that matter.
    And again, the 208 isn't exactly the space shuttle...they are about the slowest and most VFR-friendly turbine aircraft there is.
    The 208's course was arrow straight til the end, not really near anything, wx was day VMC, not much to do at 180kt in a straight line other than enjoy Texas passing by and watch for other aircraft.
    The para-blame mentality here is weird, the guy probably never knew what hit him, nor knew that he was operating "near" another aircraft.
    I wonder if any texts were sent from the 208 in the minute preceding this? Or something more useful yet still distracting...looking at info for the destination, etc. I've sure done the latter, never ever the former!

  45. Sad to see comments supporting poor risk exposure decision-making.

    We've padded all of the sharp corners we can, made the openings on fan guards smaller, spaced crib bars closer together, put breakaway cords on window blinds and banned three-wheel ATVs.

    After many years of that trend, it should be no surprise when the increased collision risk exposure at altitudes above 1000' AGL is disregarded by a part 103 flyer.

    1. As a 103 flyer, I don't disregard the increased risk with altitude. On the contrary, I keep my head on a swivel and try to make myself as visible as possible. I stay low if I'm flying a motorized ultralight, but when I'm soaring altitude is my fuel, so I fill up as much as legally allowed while watching, listening, and circling so as to not be run over up there.