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HGFA ACCIDENT & INCIDENT REPORT

Initial reports are listed below.
Upon finalisation of an investigation, findings and recommendations will be published here and in the HGFA Sky Sailor magazine.
Please note: In the event of a fatality, HGFA findings will not be released until the Coroner has completed investigations and release their findings.

Date No. / Discipline State Description Recomendation
06-01-2018 0800 814 / WM NSW Accident CAMBEWARRA Pegasus Quantum 15
The Quantum operators handbook specifies a landing distance of 195M from a 15M height. When performing a short field landing, it is tempting to place the aiming point at the edge of the landing area, ie at a fence line, but this doesnt allow for sink on final approach. It's better have appropriate runway length so that the aiming point can be displaced into the paddock. Short field landing technique is explained in the Weight shift microlight handbook [ https://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/handbooks_manuals/aviation/media/FAA-H-8083-5.pdf ] section 11.14. A short field landing technique may require a different approach speed to the approach speed used in normal operations - Short field technique uses 1.3 x Vs (stallspeed) = 43 Mph for the Quantum. Care must be taken that flight at this speed still provides enough control in thermic conditions. Operations using short field landing and take-off techniques increases the risk level of the flight. As such, the PIC should review such operations when a passenger is involved.
Pilots should review short field and landing techniques thoroughly and inspect all proposed take off and landing areas to identify hazards and ensure aircraft, pilot, and airfield can meet landing and take off performance requirements. Pilots should be conservative in their assessment when operations involving passengers are undertaken.
16-01-2018 812 / PG VIC Accident Walwa, Victoria Ozone Zeno
This report is under review.
13-01-2018 17.20 811 / WM North Qld Accident PORT DOUGLAS airborne Edge
Pilot experienced an engine out with limited space for landing. Pilot landed heavy on mudflats and skidded to a stop. Nil injuries.
This report is under review.
11-01-2018 1045 810 / HG NSW Accident STANWELL PARK Airborne C4
This report is under review.
09-01-2018 10:00 808 / PG VIC Accident Mystic flight Park Nova Ion 2
This report is under review.
07-01-2018 13:45 805 / HG Southeast Qld Accident ACLAND Icaro Laminar
This report is under review.
09-12-2017 15:50 804 / PG NSW Accident Dobroyd Head Flow EN B
While the pilot was ridge soaring, the pilot's paraglider lines became entangled in a protuding tree. The contact with tree caused pilot to swing into cliff face. The Pilot was injured and required helicopter evacuation.
All Pilot's need to ensure they maintain distance from terrain, particularly when ridge soaring conditions are deteriorating or are variable.
05-01-2018 16:58 803 / PG NSW Accident LAURIETON UP Ascent 3
A pilot was flying under supervision, and due to a turbulence induced turn, the pilot elected to attempt a 180 degree turn into the hill - rather than away from the hill. Student collided with tree and was later rescued from tree landing.
As new pilots are unaware just how much space is required to successfully turn into the hill, instructors need to ensure that all Pilots Under Instruction (PUI) understand the need to turn away from the hill while ridge soaring.
28-12-2017 12:00 802 / PG NSW Accident WARRIEWOOD Ozone Zeno
During take off at Warriewood the pilot was hit by a gust as he/she pulled the wing up, and was pushed back on launch and lifted over a van parked immediately behind the launch area. The wing dragged the pilot into the van and a timber railing on which the pilot sustained a number of minor bruises. the pilot regained control of the wing briefly before a right side tip tuck turned the wing again and the pilot drifted back over the road and landed on the grassy verge where the pilot managed to gather in the wing securely with the assistance of a spectator who was present.
When pilots are launching and operating from sites that are in close proximity to the public, extra caution and judgement should be exercised. Avoiding injury to a member of the public is of primary importance.
29-12-2017 13.30 799 / HG
This report is under review.
29-12-2017 13.30 797 / HG NSW Accident
Left wing tip dropped upon launch, dragged the aircraft to the left - 180 degrees, flying back into the steep launch face. Possible thermic interference.
In such high thermic conditions, pilots should be extra vigilant and should minimise any possible distractions.
30-12-2017 16.00 794 / HG NSW Accident 5 km SE of PEAK HILL
Not available at this stage.
It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Emma Martin, a member of the Melbourne Hang Gliding Club. Emma died in Hang Gliding accident near Peak Hill, NSW on Saturday 30 December 2017. HGFA Operations and NSW Police Aviation investigators were immediately mobilised, and are now assisting Coronial authorities. We would like to thank all other pilots involved, who provided immediate and invaluable assistance. Also, Vicki Cain of Moyes Hang Gliders and other organisers of the Forbes Flatlands Competition, for assisting with provision of support for other pilots and information to assist with the investigation. Emma was engaged in a recreational flight from Forbes to Peak Hill, with a couple of other pilots. It was during landing that she appears to have experienced some difficulty. A comprehensive investigation is now underway. Members will understand that more investigations are required before any firm conclusions can be made. Our thoughts and condolences are with Emma's family and her many gliding friends at this sad time.
29-11-2017 16:00 793 / PG VIC Accident Near Myrtleford Vic Nova Factor 2
Pilot coming in to land after flying 4 hrs x country. Cleared trees to a landing in a paddock. Just passing tree height when glider went parachutal and rocked back. Pilot's brakes were up but he remained flying backwards to impact, 3 to 4 sec. Landing was slightly to side but not turning or spinning. Slight side landing resulted in injury to that side.
This report is under review.
25-12-2017 12:00 792 / PG Southeast Qld Accident BALD KNOB Advance Iota
Wind was medium to light coming slightly across from the W. The site faces N. After take-off the wind speed lowered. After a few passes the pilot flew over the lower spur and negotiated past a small bush but then found sudden sink. He pulled hard on the brakes and hit the ground in a supine position, back first. His head then impacted with the ground.
This report is under review.
16-12-2017 15:50 791 / PG NSW Accident NORAH HEAD AirDesign Vita2
The pilot was distracted and accidentally flew out of the lift band after launch. In seeking to regain lift, the pilot allowed his paraglider wing tip to brush the cliff terrain. The glider turned toward the cliff and the pilot impacted with terrain. The pilot was only slightly injured and managed to self-retrieve damaged glider.
Most accidents occur in the launch or landing phases of flight, and expert pilots put their full concentration and effort into these phases of flight.
22-12-2017 14.00 790 / PG NSW Accident STANWELL PARK Nova Mentor
Pilot appeared by all accounts to take off with a "Line over", Pilot recognised this and took action to attempt to clear, failing this achieving the pilot headed to the beach to set up for a landing in the area known as "the Chute". It is not clear if the glider spun whilst turning base however the pilot was seen to have a very heavy impact on landing by non flying witnesses in the park area.
Line checks need to be carried out during initial setup and then immediately prior to launch.
19-11-2017 15:30 789 / PG NSW Accident Manilla Advance Epsilon 8
The Pilot was participating in a thermalling clinic and observed small rain fronts in the distance. The pilot contacted the supervising instructor and asked for advice. The pilot was advised that the rain fronts were some distance away and were not of a concern yet. Several minutes later the pilot (PIC) decided that the rain fronts were approaching faster than anticipated and elected to lose height and land. The supervising instructor provided the same advice at the same time. The pilot suffered a wing collapse while landing in gust-front conditions and fell from about 4 metres. The pilot sustained spinal and pelvic injuries despite landing on feet then harness.
A Gust-front can extend some distance before a squall-line or rain-front. All pilots need to make PIC decisions accordingly. Some clubs have instigated PLF training in anticipation of XC flying in more turbulent air. This may help injury avoidance in situations like this.
09-12-2017 13.45 788 / PG Southeast Qld Accident Playgrounds Advance Sigma 10
While conducting a normal top landing approach in good condition the glider accelerated forward when approximately 1-2m AGL with pilot impacting and rolling left leg resulting in Tibial fracture.
Assessment of incident was a combination of the following factors; 1.Target fixation on landing area due to glider laid out in target zone. 2.Thermic and gusting conditions that were mild but noticeable at time of landing. 3.Small amounts of manoeuvring close to the ground. 4.Fixation of avoidance on other glider
28-10-2017 14:02 785 / PG Southeast Qld Incident -28.30125 / 152.9015 QLD Advance X-ALPS 2
This report is under review.
28-10-2017 10:00 784 / PG Southeast Qld Incident Mt Tamborine Triple 7 queen
Pilot stalled wing while trying to core a small thermal. Wing spun causing a line twist and locking controls. Pilot elected to throw reserve parachute. Pilot and wing landed in tree. Pilot secured himself in tree and contacted competition organiser and waited for help. Pilot and glider were successfully rescued from tree. Glider sustained some damage in removal from tree.
Pilot is to be congratulated on waiting for help to get down from tree. We have reports of pilots attempting self-rescue from trees that have ended in tragedy. Regarding spins while thermalling:- In order to prevent spins, extremely slow flying while turning is to be avoided. Using as much weight shift as we can, especially in strong small cored thermals, is very important. If we are flying slowly and find ourselves being "kicked out of the thermal" because the wing does not want to turn, due to strong lift on the inside part of the wing, we need to make sure our weight shift is done towards the correct (inside) side, and prioritize raising our outside brake instead of forcing our inside brake further down. With Paragliders, to suddenly start a turn, or tighten it, speeding up the outside part of the wing is far more efficient (and less risky) than slowing down the inside part of it. [Ref: https://www.ushpa.org/legacy/safety/2009SafetyAnnual.pdf]
28-10-2017 13:50 782 / PG Southeast Qld Incident Mt Tamborine Nova Mentor 4
Pilot's vario became unsecured during flight due to due Velcro delaminating. Vario knocked/dislodged reserve deployment handle. Reserve parachute accidentally deployed. Pilot landed in forested area without injury or damage to glider.
This chain of events was started by the most innocuous of things - some Velcro securing a vario had worn out. But it is a great example of how paraglider preventative maintenance is important - that the little things are worth keeping on top of. eg - that brummel hook that keeps disconnecting, that o-ring on the riser mallion that has broken and disappeared, that helmet buckle that doesnt close properly.... These are all examples of things by themselves seem minor and inconsequential, but keeping on top of those small paraglider maintenance issues means they don't become an issue in flight.
27-11-2017 18:30 781 / WM VIC Accident Yarrawonga Airfield P&M Quik GTR
Pilot elected to land ahead of a storm front moving through the area. Pilot experienced turbulence due to a gust front (which are known to extend many kilometers ahead of a storm cell) Pilot experienced severe turbulence during late final and roundout causing impact with runway. Aircraft damaged on impact.
Pilots should familiarize themselves with the gust front phenomenon and adjust landing decisions accordingly. see - https://youtu.be/QqQFAGpvlGI
20-08-2017 11.00 780 / PG VIC Incident Swing and Fling in Melbourne Gradient Golden5
A PG2 pilot attended a club based - event - a ground handling session. It was noticed that the pilot's reserve parachute compartment flap was incorrectly missed - and could have led to an accidental deployment of the reserve when flying. the reserve had been previously packed into the harness at a club "Swing and Fling" event
Reserve packing and inspection is not covered in any detail during a paragliding course. Instead this skill is ideally developed in a club environment. A pilot should become familiar with all aspects of their equipment so that they can perform a comprehensive daily and preflight inspection. The ability to inspect and pack and install a reserve parachute develops a level of familiarity with the reserve parachute and its deployment so that a thorough pre-flight inspection is done.
25-11-2017 17:35 778 / PG NSW Incident WARRIEWOOD Ozone Magnum II
This report is under review.
09-11-2017 14:45 777 / PG VIC Accident TALLANGATTA SOUTH Niviuk Ikuma
Pilot could feel that the conditions were becoming turbulent. Pilot released speed bar and flew with brakes only. Pilot/wing experienced a large right side asymmetric collapse. Pilot's wing collapse created a double line twist. Pilot managed to untwist but wing now had a large cravat on the right hand side. The pilot was unable to maintain heading due to cravat. The pilot then tried to use the stabilo line to remove the cravat but was unsuccessful. The Pilot's glider began to enter a spiral. The pilot attempted to remove cravat and spiral entry with a full stall but was unsuccessful. The pilot then experienced high G forces as spiral dive increased. The pilot noted the high loss in altitude and elected to throw the reserve parachute. The reserve deployed with no issues. The pilot then proceeded to descend under reserve and attempted to pull the wing in. The wing was still partially inflated upon impact. The pilot impacted with her feet first but the pilot did not use a parachute landing roll. After hitting the ground the pilot had to deflate the reserve to stop being dragged. The pilot realized that they had been injured and promptly activated the emergency response button on the Spot device. About 40 minutes later a farmer found the pilot and was the first person on scene. He removed the pilot's shoes and provided shade with an umbrella. Shortly afterwards the ambulance arrived. The pilot was placed on a spine board and then driven by ambulance to Albury Base Hosptial.
Discussion with Pilot/reporter reveals the following : - The reserve was a Supair Xtralite size Medium (70-95kg). The pilot's flying weight is about 84kg. The pilot was wearing half height hiking shoes (not full ankle ones). The pilot's descent rate at time of impact varies from different instruments - one says -5.8 M/S and the other says -8.7 M/S The pilot is of the opinion that a PLF could have minimized injuries. (but -8.7 M/S *is* fast). Standard round reserves in test conditions (smooth air without collapsed paraglider affecting the reserve parachute performance) will produce a descent rate of approx. 5.0 M/S - although the EN standard is 5.5 M/S Max, and the LTF Standard is 6.7 M/S max. It is not recommended to have a higher sink rate than 5.5m/s as the chance of injury on landing is high. This is the limit for certification under the EN 12491 system. The newer Square, square-round, and rogallo reserves can produce sink rates that are better than standard round reserves for the same weight and (packed) size - with rogallos able to exhibit a sink rate of 2.8 M/S (Beamer3). A reserve parachute is not a second chance - its a last chance - it is designed to change a fatal situation to a survivable situation. In this situation, it may have been possible to avoid injury with the use of a more modern rescue chute and better footwear, but so many variables are at play in a reserve deployment is it hard to say that with certainty. Use of the PLF may have also helped in this situation. See https://flybubble.com/blog/choose-the-right-reserve-parachute and https://www.highadventure.ch/en/beamer-3-en.html for more info.