Glider crash witnesses speak
Man, 58, dead after crash in Farragut
Parker Korpak noticed the paraglider circling above his Bridgewater subdivision home Sunday afternoon, April 2. He said the two men were about 300 feet above ground, in the middle of the afternoon on a clear day.
“Five or 10 minutes later I heard it overhead again and went outside,” Korpak, a freshman at The University of Tennessee, said. “I heard a loud crash — I believe that was the paraglider colliding with the trees. I saw the parachute descend into the trees [north of Bridgewater off Turkey Creek Road]. I sprinted over there and called 911 at the same time. I was the first one over there.”
In what turned out to be a fatal crash, Korpak saw two middle-aged males, one still in his seat apparently unconscious and the other on the ground.
Stanley Descoursey, 58, the pilot of the two-seater, was pronounced dead at UT Medical Center Sunday. The other victim, Kenneth Atkins, 54, was given first aid by ambulance responders. His condition at deadline was unknown.
“I went to the unconscious one first and talked to him but didn’t get a response,” Korpak said. “The other one told me his back hurt. I told him to stay still, that help was on the way and he told me he was alright.”
Korpak said two neighbors from an adjoining neighborhood appeared, then a family.
According to a Knox County Sheriff’s Office report, Chris-topher Montgomery saw the aircraft crash land in the woods behind his residence. He began CPR on Descoursey.
Korpak, meanwhile, said he was “focused on leading the emergency crew to where the wreck happened.”
Rescue workers arrived about 10 minutes after Korpak called 911.
“The wife of the conscious man arrived at the scene, then police, and then a LIFESTAR helicopter landed out in the field," Korpak said.
“Beforehand, when they were flying over … everything seemed fine. I think they experienced engine failure. Other witnesses said they heard the engine stop," he added.
Richard Noce said his wife, Mary Noce, heard the crash and told him. Richard Noce then made his way toward the site.
“They went down through the middle of some big trees,” he said. “I think they just bounce back and forth like they were in a big windstorm.”
Though Richard Noce said a paraglider had been flying over the area in recent weeks "and irritating people," the accident victims "weren't the same people because the gentleman we talked to last night, a close friend of the pilot’s from his church in Powell, said he’d only gotten his license a year ago.
“His motor was hesitating and he’d put the gas on it and speed back up and then hesitate again,” Richard Noce added.
“It had been flying in circles and circles and circles,” Cindy Holt, a Kingsgate resident, said. “It was pretty low and went up higher and over toward Campbell Station. We had the TV on and kept hearing the engine. We heard a thump and then the engine went off.”
“I was in the house, so I wasn’t even sure what it was. It was kind of a weird sound,” a Bridgewater resident said. “There were only three or four of us up there in the field. I saw them loading them into an ambulance.”