Kite Incident

Kite Meets Mac Para Eden-2 Wing

Well, I used up my one credit from the last time I was down at West Beach when we saved someone. Dale had warned me, I had seen it and avoided it earlier, and then on my last flight, well, I found the kite. On takeoff, I did not see the Barbie kite and chose to fly the area. Someone was flying a white “Barbie” kite on fishing line about 200′ up in the air.

Image1I flew down the beach and made a return trip. Before getting in the area, I specifically looked for the kite, did not see it, and flew near the south side of the coast line along San Luis Pass. Just as I was coming up on the elevated road, I felt the wing tip collapse. After 125 hours in the air, this was the first time I have ever felt any type of collapse and was a bit surprised. I felt the wing give (active piloting), and instantly it recovered. I was surprised it happened, but thought just maybe the winds had kicked up as I was flying perpendicular to the wind.

I made a 270° turn into the wind and then headed back to the LZ. As I am coming over the area, everyone (can I say EVERYONE) was waving me down. At this point in time, I still did not know what had happened. I then made a landing, and the wing didn’t flare as strong as I would have liked. I went to one knee. I then got up, the wing is still flying, and begin dropping it. As it’s dropping, it is only then I notice the tear.Image2

God Almighty was looking out after me. The wing in question was a Mac Para Eden 2 (DHV 1-2), 30M wing with approximately 125 hours on it. I was flying a PAP Corsair M21Y engine. My total upweight was approximately 310 lbs. Other than the slight wingtip collapse, the Mac Para Eden 2 wing never lost energy and maintained shape even after the big hole in the middle of the wing became evident to the folks on the ground. Quality construction. I can not overemphasize how it still managed to keep flying.

This could have been a hobby ending situation. Fortunately it wasn’t. The wing was eventuallys repaired and flown another 2 years before it’s retirement.