On August 14th, 2010, a powered parachute got away from its pilot in Tracy, California, and took off on its own. It was found about a week later in Napa, about 70 miles away. No one was hurt in the incident. Someone said that the pilot was unable to start the craft with his electric starter, so he attempted to manually start the aircraft. The throttle was left open or got knocked open before he got on board.

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21 COMMENTS

  1. To put a positive spin on this… How safe and easy to fly is an aircraft that demonstrably flies itself?! No stall, no spin, no collapse and no fly-by-wire auto pilot. The only thing that brought it down was running out of fuel. This is why I took up paramotoring! ; )

  2. A fool and his ppc soon part… haha This is the thrid one I've seen that got away. Maybe when I die I'll have my kids put me in one and send me off into the wild blue yonder since the pilot is obviously unnecessary.

  3. I own one of these, and for the life of me can't figure out how this can happen. Your chute is out, plane is running and you…..go get a coke out of the coke machine? I just don't get it!!

  4. these people talking about cruise control, and automatically going to idle, obviously never flown a true Powered Parachute. That would be a pain to have to hold a throttle the whole time. They have the same concept as an aircraft. the throttle is wherever you leave it.

  5. Hi Rick F, ultimately what happed is the battery was dead so pilot got out of aircraft to pull start the engine in getting out of the aircraft the pilots foot kicked the throttle to wide open. He than pull started the engine and off it goes he tried to hold it back but that is impossible. We sent up another PPC and fixed wing aircraft to keep track of it but they lost sight of it. We called the FAA to alert them to a pilotless aircraft they in turn called all the local law enforcement agency's. It was the local sheriffs in Napa that not only seen it come down but had two calls from hikers in the area. All of us were worried that it could land on someone's house. It landed in some brush and small trees. owner/pilot hiked into area to retrieve it but with such heavy brush was unable so hired a helicopter crew $2000. to lift it out. There was not a scratch on it.  
    Thanks for watching
    Tom Reed

  6. PROOF POSITIVE that a fat pilot who can fall asleep in daylight hours at the drop of a hat, can safely pilot a PPC from takeoff to landing. Therefore; PPC Private Pilot applicants should be exempt from the proposed BMI / sleep apnea / 'give-me-all-your-$$$' NPRM.

  7. That is absolutely hilarious.  That is the price he pays for cutting corners and getting impatient.  Once I forgot to put on my seat belt and realized it as I started moving.  It taught me to be patient and not to force things.

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