Well-known paraglider killed in crash when chute collapses

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Paragliding from wikimedia


Paragliding from wikimedia

CHELAN BUTTE — A 55-year-old man was killed Wednesday when his paraglider chute collapsed and he plummeted rapidly to the ground.

David A. Norwood of Wapato, Wash., was paragliding around 4 p.m. Wednesday in the Chelan Butte area of Chelan County when his chute collapsed and he rapidly fell, the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office said.

Witnesses ran about 150 yards downhill to Norwood and administered aid, but he was unresponsive. He was pronounced dead at the scene once aid workers arrived.

Norwood was well-known within the paraglider community, sheriff’s deputies said.

Deputies are investigating the accident.

Chelan Butte is a popular area for wind recreation activities, and is often billed as one of the premier hang gliding locations in the world.

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  • Peter Michelmore

    David Norwood aka Preacher was known worldwide as he had decades of experience and recently competed in the US National Paragliding Championships at Chelan Butte, WA.

    Preacher was most known for his safety and his attention to detail. He was over-the-top about safe launches and safe flying practices.

    Unfortunately for Preacher the wrong wind just after launch or possibly a 'Dust Devil' collapsed his wing to low to the ground to effective control his paraglider or deploy his reserve parachute.

    This was a huge loss for paragliding and the Northwest Paragliding clubs that he flew and taught with.

    Condolences to his family and close friends.

    I spent the last three weeks as safety director with Preacher and his knowledge of weather and flying was outstanding. He was a mentor to all of us.

    Pete Michelmore
    USHPA Safety Director Region 3

  • Amy Bell

    Thanks Peter, Your comments are appreciated by David’s family. As the numbness begins to wear off, I know I am struggling for answers..some of which I know I may never have. It helps to know he was truly as safety conscious as he told us he was. Be careful out there, and don’t forget the lessons he taught you-Amy Norwood Bell (Sister)

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