MOUNT VERNON — A misjudgment in landing his paraglider ended with the pilot, John Vining, 56, Mount Vernon, tangled in a power line and with an injured wrist.
A paraglider has a fabric wing similar to a rectangular sport parachute canopy, with a line about 15 feet long that is attached to a seat and harness where the pilot sits. Mounted in a frame behind the pilot is a small gasoline engine with a propeller that pushes the glider through the air.
Vining, to celebrate the Memorial Day holiday, tied an American flag to the seat and flew around Knox County, including over Gambier and Kenyon College. Finished with his tour, he took the paraglider to 1,500 feet above the ground for the flight to his home on Coshocton Road.
He was pulling in the line to secure the flag for landing when the flag became entangled in the propeller, stalling the engine. He established a glide and looked for a field for a landing. Vining said he was westbound, east of Gilchrist Road and close to his home, but couldn’t glide that far. So he turned the paraglider around to land in a field on the east side of Gilchrist Road, just off Coshocton Road.
He didn’t make it. Coming in under a power line, the canopy wrapped around the power line, bringing his flight to a sudden stop about 8:20 p.m. The College Township Fire Department responded and treated Vining on the scene. He was taken to Knox Community Hospital for further treatment. The Ohio State Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.
Trained and licensed in flying the paraglider, Vining has 30 flights without incident prior to Friday. He is also a licensed private pilot.