A Bend man died Thursday near Pine Mountain after separating from his paraglider wing in mid-air.
According to Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. William Bailey, some called 911 at 6:49 p.m. reporting a paragliding accident on the northwest side of Pine Mountain near Millican. The caller reported the paraglider fell about 200 feet.
Deschutes County Sheriff’s Deputies, United States Forest Service Law Enforcement, Bend Fire Department Paramedics, AirLink Air Ambulance and Deschutes County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue volunteers were all dispatched to the scene.
Bailey said when emergency personnel arrived, they found citizen by-standers and fellow paragliders attempting to resuscitate the injured paraglider on the mountain slope about 250 meters from the peak.
The injured paraglider was later identified as 50 year old, Matthew Hans-Joachim Richter, of Bend. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Richter was described as an experienced paraglider with many years of flying experience. The paraglider wing or canopy, flown by Richter, was a lightweight motor-less, free-flying, foot-launched aircraft with no rigid frame or structure.
According to witnesses, Ritcher was only airborne for 10-15 seconds before separating from the wing and falling to the ground. The cause of the accident is still under investigation with the assistance of the Federal Aviation Administration and the NTSB.