Sorry to report Calvin19 has been injured Paragliding.

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Paraglider crashes at local park
Local man listed in critical condition with head injuries

By Christine Reid, Camera Staff Writer
February 7, 2006

A paraglider is in critical condition with head injuries after crashing Monday morning at Wonderland Lake.

Matthew Hecker, 21, of Boulder, fell just after 9 a.m. about 50 feet out of the air with such force that it "popped" his helmet off when he struck the ground, according to a witness.

Hecker was taken by ambulance to Boulder Community Hospital before being airlifted to Denver Health Medical Center, where he was listed in critical condition late Monday afternoon.

Hecker's friend, Alex Gilmer, told rescue officials he watched as Hecker took off from the popular paragliding spot in north Boulder. Gilmer reported hearing the yellow canopy "crackle" as Hecker's chute folded and collapsed.

Gilmer called 911 from his cellular phone.

"He thinks the canopy might have hit the ground first," said Dave Booton, Boulder County emergency services supervisor.

Rescuers from Boulder Fire Rescue, Boulder Open Space and Rocky Mountain Rescue hiked about 500 feet up the steep hill popular for paragliding and strapped Hecker in a litter before carrying him down. Hecker was conscious and in pain, screaming obscenities as he was loaded onto the ambulance.

Gilmer told rescuers Hecker has been paragliding for about five years, and said he has even more experience in sky diving and BASE jumping, which stands for building, antenna, span and earth and involves leaping with parachutes from buildings, bridges, cliffs and other fixed perches.

Hecker was listed as a winner of a scholarship in 2004 by the Mile High Youth Gliding Association for lessons on the nonprofit's Boulder-based glider.

Kay Tauscher, owner of Peak to Peak Paragliding in Boulder, was walking her dog at Wonderland Lake near the time of the accident and spotted the two lone paragliders.

"I thought 'That's weird, this is clearly not a day to fly,'" Tauscher said, noting the wind was blowing the wrong direction. "Anybody who's been through proper training knows today is not the day to fly."

Paragliders launching from Wonderland Lake need winds to be moving in an easterly direction to fly safely, Tauscher said, not from the west like it was blowing Monday morning. When the wind is at a paraglider's back, it creates a condition known as a "rotor," Tauscher said, and paragliders are not engineered to fly in that "kind of air."

Tauscher said there had been talk in the local paragliding circles about some younger, inexperienced paragliders launching in less than desirable conditions from Wonderland Lake, but there is no law that they must be licensed.

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hope you come out of this all right . you still have to show me how you perfected the Mic twist. get well soon.
I'm an invincible re-tarded ninja
derka derka bakala bakala muhammad jihad

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Matt is still in the surgical intensive care unit and is listed as "serious, in a critical state."

Please keep him in your thoughts--We can't lose such a creative young mind in the world, let alone the sport.

I'm going to try to go down tonight.
stay strong brother!

edit: it kills me that this happened mere blocks from my house and I just found out now.

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such a creative young mind in the world

I second that. A lot of people may look at what he and his buds have done and say "They've got balls", but it's the brains that have brought them through this. I've got a lot of respect for them and these days, am rarely surprised when I hear of something else Matt's doing or has done.


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