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SAFA ACCIDENT & INCIDENT REPORT

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

Date No. / Discipline State Description Recomendation
04-06-2020 14:00 1270 / PG VIC Accident Mystic Bowl, BRIGHT VIC 3741 SWING NYOS
PIC was thermalling their paraglider in a right-hand turn over Emily Spur close to the launch at Mystic (Vic). The wing experienced an asymmetric collapse on the left wing which has then developed into a cravat. The pilot then induced a spin to the right by attempting to maintain a turn away from the cravatage and over-braking the glider. Although the glider recovered from the spin once the braking was eased (by surging and converting to a spiral dive), this occurred too close to treed terrain and a tree landing resulted. The wing was destroyed and the pilot suffered a minor facial puncture wound from a tree branch.
Pilots should be enjoined to prioritise straight flight away from sloping terrain in the event of a collapse near that terrain. This is generally very feasible on most paragliders even with significant asymmetric collapses, provided a spiral dive hasn't been allowed to develop. Once straight and safe flight has been established, the collapse can then be attended to.
06-06-2020 16:00 1268 / PG NSW Accident SPRING HILL BGD WASP EN/LTF-B
The Pilot-in-Command (PIC) should be commended for reporting this incident in a timely manner. PIC has launched his paraglider at 2:45pm from the main NW launch at Spring Hill (NSW) after observing a number of pilots launch. He was flying for approx. 1 hour 10 mins with up to 11 paragliders and 1 hang glider. Conditions allowed for soaring and thermalling, and were light to moderate. In the lead-up to the accident, the PIC headed too far out west to nearly the road then made his way back to the main ridge where he tried to scratch back up. PIC was scratching low and close to terrain and encountered a pocket of sink. With no margin for error he has landed backwards into the rocks, then been dragged through some small rocks, up the slope for 50 m before he regained control of the wing. PIC suffered bruising, minor cut and abrasions.
Pilots need to exercise extreme caution when flying low in the venturi at Spring Hill - the saddle to the right of launch (refer to the Spring Hill Site Guide on the Australian National Site Guide - http://siteguide.org.au/Sites/Spring%20Hill.html). Don't allow yourself to get so low that you have no options for unexpected or unplanned events. Pilots should also be sure of their ground handling skills when flying in the upper end of the wind envelope.
04-05-2020 04:30 PM 1255 / PG Southeast Qld Accident Training Hill Bromelton Gin. Bolero 5
A Pilot under instruction at a training hill near Bromelton in Qld/S, tripped while practising cross wind launch technique, landing on the right shoulder. PUI was taken to the local medical center by his Instructor and advised to rest the arm affected. Subsequent x-ray imagery taken the next day revealed a hairline fracture of the humerus.
No safety recommendations.
10-04-2020 09:00 AM 1249 / PPG WA Incident Separation Point Beachlands Geraldton WA 6530 Niviuk
PIC was flying his PPG wing at Separation Point Beachlands (WA) and which stalled during normal flight due to possible wind shear. Stalled wing recovery was not successful with the wing entering a locked in spiral. Pilot successfully deployed his reserve from 300 foot with a safe water landing, 4 m from shore. No injuries and minimal equipment damage.
SIV training is recommended for pilots to react to collapses, stalls, spins and spirals. Use of rescue parachutes and flotation devices when operating over water for both PG & PPG flight.
23-03-2020 02:30 PM 1245 / PG VIC Accident Mt Elliot, Corryong, Vic. NOVA Mentor 2
A pilot thermalling in weak conditions on a ridge at Mt Elliot (Vic.), fell out of the downwind edge of the thermal and was dropped into leeside rotor. This caused a series of collapses resulting in impact with terrain. The pilot sustained spinal injuries, but with no permanent damage.
Pilots should be enjoined to take care when thermalling in weak thermals that may have a significant wind tilt, especially when near ridged terrain. In these circumstances there is a significant risk of flying into leeside rotor if the pilot falls out of the downwind side of the thermal.