A 39 year old Thai man died in a paramotor accident on the Mekong River in the Isaan province of Bueng Kan yesterday. The cause of the accident is under investigation.
The deceased was identified as Watcharapong Khanteetao. He was a member of a paramotor club in the northeastern provinces. The accident occurred after Watcharapong flew the paramotor over the Mekong River and Sook Samran Beach in Bueang Kan at about 6pm yesterday.
According to a witness, Watcharapong had been flying around for about five minutes before spinning down to the water’s surface. He then raised his level by flying in a circle in the air, but unexpectedly, Watcharapong and his parameter dropped into the Mekong River.
A boat driver and a nearby jetskier rushed to help Watcharapong and dragged him out of the water. Unfortunately, Watcharapong was later pronounced dead after being sent to Bueng Kan Hospital.
The cause of the accident is still under investigation by the police. It is believed that the lines connected to the parachute tangled when Watcharapong spun down. Watcharapong’s friends and witnesses will be questioned to identify the actual cause of the accident.
The community leader, Pangard Saiyen, said Watcharapong was an avid fan of paramotor sports, even though he had several previous accidents. In the past, he crashed the paramotor into electric wires and fell onto a house in the province.
Another paramotor accident happened in Isaan last month. A Royal Thai Police officer, Nattadej Namamamat, was killed after he crashed a paramotor into a restaurant near Khon Kaen. A witness reported that Nattadej turned the paramotor with too much force causing it to lose balance and drop to the ground.
In February, a Burmese man, Win Nyunt, was pronounced dead after crashing his brand new paramotor in Pathum Thani province near Bangkok. The accident was believed to be caused by strong winds or engine failure.
Despite the risks involved, paramotoring is a popular recreational aviation activity in Thailand. The Royal Aeronautic Sports Association of Thailand (RASAT) hosted the Paragliding Accuracy World Cup (PGAWC) 2023 in February, attracting paramotor flyers from 16 countries, including India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Mongolia, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Spain, Serbia, South Korea, China, France, Czech Republic, and Thailand.
Paramotor allows pilots to take off and land in a relatively small space, making it a popular form of recreational aviation. Moreover, it is also the cheapest and safest way to enjoy beautiful scenes from a high angle. The rate of flight speed is approximately 40–55 km/hr. If the weather is good, the paramotor will be able to travel more than 100 kilometres.
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