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Death of YouTuber shows potential recreational flying dangers

As previous posts in this blog have discussed, small plane crashes are more common than commercial airplane accidents. This is often due to pilots with less experience or the difficulty in keeping a smaller craft under control in adverse weather or mechanical emergency situations. Those in New York with a taste for adventure and thrill-seeking may want to consider the potential risks of such recreational aviation activities as paragliding.

The Washington Post reported on the tragic death of a popular YouTube personality in early August. Jonathan Grant Thompson, known to his followers as The King of Random, was killed in a paragliding crash in Utah. After a search recovered his body, authorities found video footage and are reportedly analyzing it for clues as to how the 38-year-old YouTuber crashed.

Paragliding is reported to be safer than riding in a motor vehicle on the freeway, when pilots know what they are doing and take the proper precautions. However, there are many things that can go wrong in these self-guided small craft flights. A new paraglider may not have the experience needed to regain control in the air if something goes wrong; unpredictable wind and weather conditions can cause a paraglider to lose control; improperly prepared or faulty equipment can fail during a flight; or a paraglider may have been insufficiently trained on safe flying procedures.

There is nothing wrong with enjoying this unique and exciting sport when it is done safely and legally under the right conditions. However, after an accident, injured parties or surviving family members may want to investigate whether negligence played a part and if they are eligible for compensation.

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