The following was originally posted at:
Under some circumstances it might be concluded this person might have been intending to commit suicide. Outwardly, this doesn't appear to be the case.
Who in their right mind, living with such violent local weather hazards, destruction of large areas for years would want to go kiting in such a system? Add to this all the abundant warnings, high wind estimates, large hail and visible lightening. There isn't a small enough kite to take out in this stuff of any type.
Microbursts can send out "straight line" winds on the order of 60 to 160 mph over a small area of about 2 miles in diameter. Microbursts occur widely geographically.
This same system, did this in a closely adjoining area;
and ripped down this brick building wall and roof in a nearby state;
Microbursts have also done:
and a great deal more including crashing several commercial jets with loss of life.
More info about microburst at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microburst
I am intentionally avoiding identifying the location of this near fatality, aka incident. The irresponsible acts of one misguided individual shouldn't cost access to other kiters. Still, kiters should be aware of acts like this and the many reasons to work hard never to be in this sort of situation.
Many kiters have been killed and many more severely injured in winds far less than this. Going out minutes before a squall cloud appearing like it drifted out of hell is foolish in the extreme. YOU HAVE NO IDEA what the wind is going to do, die, boost to 150 mph or a mere 50 to 80 mph, stall your kite, wrap lines around your neck, arms, relaunch and slice or strangle you as you ski across the water, etc.. The kite easily could have rained line down on this guy when it stalled as in other cases. Lots of variations that could and have happened already. There is no kite in existence to that can handle this conditions, kiter either. Add in 44 F water, lightening, large hail (anyone up for getting pelted in the head with high speed 2" ice balls from 40,000 ft.?) while other riders sensibly sat this one out? I understand he was told not to go out but chose to anyway. Hope they don't lose access over this. I also hope the rider, comes down to earth and learns how close he came to checking out in a lousy minutes long session, permanently.