The pilot of a motorized paragliding aircraft escaped injury after he clipped power lines on Friday morning before crash landing on a Russian River beach, the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office reported.
The crash initially knocked out power to 467 customers when PG&E crews were forced to shut off electricity in the affected lines to make repairs, PG&E spokeswoman Deanna Contreras said. Power was restored to all but 50 customers by 10:30 a.m.
The accident was reported about 9:20 a.m. at Del Rio Woods beach, east of Healdsburg, the Sheriff’s Office said. The public beach is overseen by Sonoma County Regional Parks.
The pilot, who is from Geyserville and in his 50s, landed on the beach and then removed his fabric wing, which was stuck in nearby trees. He was able to walk away from the crash, though the Healdsburg Fire Department and medical crews responded the incident.
A photo posted onto the Sheriff’s Office Facebook page showed the man’s motorized aircraft. It was outfitted with three wheels and a driver’s seat.
“He’s a very lucky man,” Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Misti Harris said.
The crash resulted in sagging lines over the river, Contreras said. Crews were expected to restore power by 10:30 p.m., according to an online PG&E power outage map.
“Crews are working as quickly and safely as possible to make those repairs and restore power to the customers,” Contreras said.
The Sheriff’s Office asked the public to avoid the area while PG&E crews staged from nearby roads, which are narrow.