Friday, May 12, 2017

Arthur Levy, 48, of Vero Beach killed after his backpack-powered parachute impacted beach terrain on South Hutchinson Island in Fort Pierce, Florida.

Vero Beach man killed in paramotor accident in St. Lucie County
Laurie K. Blandford , 

Published 5:51 p.m. ET May 11, 2017

ST. LUCIE COUNTY — A 48-year-old Vero Beach man was killed Thursday afternoon in a paramotor accident on Hutchinson Island, said St. Lucie County sheriff’s officials.

Arthur Levy died after his backpack-powered parachute crashed near Middle Cove Beach about 1 p.m. Thursday, officials said. Paramedics pronounced Levy dead at the scene.

A paramotor is a motorized, steerable paraglider that’s powered by a motor and propeller harnessed to the pilot’s back.

The cause of the crash is under investigation. No further information was available late Thursday.

In 2011, Levy was hospitalized after an accidental midair collision of two motor-powered paragliders, according to a Martin County sheriff’s report.

He plummeted 50 feet after the collision above Pasley Beach Park and was taken to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center & Heart Institute in Fort Pierce in good condition.

His flying partner, Richard Weston of Palm City, walked away after landing with a parachute. He sustained minor injuries that paramedics treated at the scene.

Just before the accident, Weston was in the air, waiting for Levy to take off so Weston could land. As Levy took off to the south, Weston descended, but Levy turned to the north and collided with Weston.

Weston inflated his parachute and safely descended. Levy fell directly to the ground, severely fracturing his right ankle. He also complained of neck and back pain.

Both of them had flown at the beach before, said Weston, who has seven years of experience flying paragliders.


ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. - St. Lucie County detectives are trying to determine what caused an experienced power-paraglider to crash Thursday afternoon, killing him.

Investigators say Arthur Levy, 48, of Vero Beach, crashed near Middle Cove Beach in Fort Pierce around 1 p.m.

Friends of his say he had been flying for nearly 15 years.

“It’s one of those things where you know it’s a dangerous sport, but you never really think it will happen to you or anyone you know,” said Logan Fleisher.

Fleisher said Levy taught him how to get into the sport nearly 4 years ago.

Levy started as a ‘coach’, but the two became friends within Vero Beach’s small power- paragliding community.

“The paramotoring was his [life]. He lived and breathed it,“ Fleisher said. “We tried to get together as much as we could and go flying,”

Fleisher found out Thursday that the last outing the two had together about a month ago, would be their last.

“I saw it on the news. They didn’t say his name, but I noticed his wind,” Fleisher said. “We’re shocked.”

Levy made headlines back in 2011 when he had an in-air collision with another paraglider.

In that case, he was hospitalized, but Fleisher said even that crash did not keep him away from the sport.

Now, he’s hopeful for answers as to why Levy did not walk away this time.

“I don’t really think it was pilot error. He was great at it. He knew everything about the sport,” Fleisher said.

For Fleisher, it might finally be time, he says, to stay on the ground.

“It’s definitely a sobering reminder of what can happen and what could go wrong. I think it might be time to hang it up,” Fleisher said.

BREAKING: Florida man killed when paraglider crashes along beach

Julius Whigham II Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
7:09 p.m Thursday, May 11, 2017

  A man operating a motorized paraglider was killed Thursday when he crashed on South Hutchinson Island, the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office said. 


A man operating a motorized paraglider was killed Thursday when he crashed on South Hutchinson Island, the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office said.

Investigators identified the man as Arthur Levy, 48, of Vero Beach. According to the sheriff’s office, Levy was using a backpack-powered parachute when he crashed shortly after 1 p.m. near Middle Cove on South Beach. He died at the scene.

The crash remains under investigation. No other details were released.

Stuart resident Ellen Goldberg said she and two others were at the beach in Jensen Beach around 1 p.m. when they saw a paraglider struggling to maintain control in an area populated by swimmers.

“We were on Jensen Beach and saw him struggling, very low, diving and zig-zagging,” she said. “He was close to the shore and headed north along the beach.”

Goldberg said she did not see the crash.

Last July, professional kitesurfer Damien LeRoy was injured in a motorized paragliding incident in Jupiter when he fell 150 feet to the ground. LeRoy told The Palm Beach Post that twisted steering lines sent him crashing into a mangrove thicket just north of the Juno Beach Pier.

He sustained, among other injuries, a broken left femur, a broken tail bone and a punctured left lung.

Date: 11-MAY-2017
Time: 13:00
Type: Powered Paraglider


C/n / msn:

Fatalities: Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities: 0
Airplane damage: Unknown
Location: St. Lucie County, South Hutchinson Island, Fort Pierce, FL - United States of America
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Nature: Unknown
Departure airport:

Destination airport:

The aircraft impacted beach terrain on South Hutchinson Island in Fort Pierce, Florida. The powered paraglider (PPG) sustained unreported damage and the sole pilot onboard received fatal injuries.