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Paraglider, miniplane collide

Published September 3, 2006 1:27 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2006, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A Wyoming man tumbled from the sky after his paraglider was hit by an airplane . . . a miniature one, that is.

Wade Hutchinson, 31, was soaring more than 75 feet in the air Friday when a radio-controlled airplane hit his paraglider at a Draper park.

The paraglider "folded up" upon impact and the man fell, authorities said.

Draper police officer Clint Fackrell said the man hit the ground "hard," but he crashed down on a steep slope, softening the blow and saving him from serious injury.

"That mountain helped break his fall," Fackrell said. Hutchinson was flown by helicopter to University Hospital. Fackrell said the Aladdin, Wyo., man suffered no life-threatening injuries.

Police plan to take no action against the radio-controlled airplane pilot, whose tiny aircraft - measuring just 21 inches from wing tip to wing tip - caused the crash.

- Jeremiah Stettler