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
25-02-2022 02:00 PM 1662 / PG VIC Accident FLINDERS GOLF COURSE Niviuk Koyot 4
A low-hours PIC was flying their paraglider at Flinders Golf Course (Vic.), in light conditions with the wind crossed from the west. In an effort to maintain altitude they decided to fly behind an infamous dead tree and encountered sink. This caused the wing to drop and a line became tangled with the tree. The wing was flipped into the tree and PIC ended with their feet on the ground. A stabilo line was broken.
Pilots are reminded to be mindful of where sink is likely to be encountered whilst ridge soaring and always have an active Plan B to make a safe landing. Do not place yourself needlessly at risk.
17-02-2022 02:30 PM 1655 / PG Southeast Qld Incident TEEWAH - on landing Niviuk Hook 5
PIC has launched their paraglider at Teewah Launch (Qld/S). After ridge soaring for approximately 5 minutes, PIC noticed that their reserve pouch flaps are open and insecure. They have notified the SSO by radio that they have spotted the problem and intend on landing immediately on the Beach, then have flown out over the water to lose height, trying to protect the reserve pouch from the wind. On landing the reserve has fallen out of the harness onto the ground still in its deployment bag.
Before any flight, a thorough pre-flight inspection must take place prior to launch including all harness leg and chest straps, carabiners, speed system (for PGs) and the reserve pouch securing system is in place. Never get distracted by other pilots or people talking to you whilst doing your pre-flight checks. If distracted, start again. In this instance luckily the pilot spotted the reserve being unsecured and landed before any incident could occur.
30-01-2022 06:00 PM 1642 / PG NSW Accident LONG REEF Air Design Vivo
A low hours PG2 pilot has launched from Long Reef NE (NSW), into a weak, crossed wind. They have made a wide turn at the end of the beat up-ridge, lost height and have tightened their turn to the point that they now faced the ridge, head-on. With little room to correct they have aimed for a tree and braced for impact. Their left wing-tip has snagged the tree and they have been plucked from the air landing gently on their feet, but somewhat shaken. The wing was damaged in the extraction.
Low airtime pilots must prioritise a safe landing (with the opportunity to re-launch) as their preferred manoeuvre when conditions change and become less favourable. Always allow a safe distance from obstacles and do not head directly towards them. Constant separation with terrain and other gliders must precede the pilot remaining airborne and should be praised and encouraged by all stakeholders in the sport rather than a risk taking mentality being applauded.
29-01-2022 12:00 PM 1639 / PG VIC Incident Approx 800m east of Flinders Blow Hole below cliffs Flow Future
PIC made a decision to fly their paraglider to the blowhole at Flinders Golf Course (Vic) in mild lift. On their return, they lost lift and were forced to make an unplanned landing onto rocks without issue approximately 800 m east of the Blowhole.
Low hour pilots should seek appropriate counsel and guidance from local safety officers and senior pilots, before extending themselves on flights of this nature.
25-01-2022 1637 / PG VIC Incident Portland Nuns Beach Future Flow
A low-airtime pilot was launching their paraglider from Nuns Beach (Vic), and were directed by their supervisor to turn right and make their way to the LZ. PIC was unable to fully control the wing and allowed themselves to be pulled to the left, resulting in a tricky landing option. They have landed in ankle-deep water with the wing deflating onto rocks at the water-side.
All pilots are reminded of the importance of ground handling. This is especially so for low-airtime pilots or if returning to flight after an extended break. Ground handling enables pilots to practise the foundational skills before taking to the air. Supervising pilots should ensure that supervised pilots receive adequate advice.