48-year-old Arthur Levy of Vero Beach was operating a paramotor, which has a motor and propeller attached to the back of the pilot, when he crashed on South Hutchinson Island, the sheriff's office said.
ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. - St. Lucie County detectives are trying to determine what caused an experienced power-paraglider to crash Thursday afternoon, killing him.
Investigators say Arthur Levy, 48, of Vero Beach, crashed near Middle Cove Beach in Fort Pierce around 1 p.m.
Friends of his say he had been flying for nearly 15 years.
“It’s one of those things where you know it’s a dangerous sport, but you never really think it will happen to you or anyone you know,” said Logan Fleisher.
Fleisher said Levy taught him how to get into the sport nearly 4 years ago.
Levy started as a ‘coach’, but the two became friends within Vero Beach’s small power- paragliding community.
“The paramotoring was his [life]. He lived and breathed it,“ Fleisher said. “We tried to get together as much as we could and go flying,”
Fleisher found out Thursday that the last outing the two had together about a month ago, would be their last.
“I saw it on the news. They didn’t say his name, but I noticed his wind,” Fleisher said. “We’re shocked.”
Levy made headlines back in 2011 when he had an in-air collision with another paraglider.
In that case, he was hospitalized, but Fleisher said even that crash did not keep him away from the sport.
Now, he’s hopeful for answers as to why Levy did not walk away this time.
“I don’t really think it was pilot error. He was great at it. He knew everything about the sport,” Fleisher said.
For Fleisher, it might finally be time, he says, to stay on the ground.
“It’s definitely a sobering reminder of what can happen and what could go wrong. I think it might be time to hang it up,” Fleisher said.