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
18-10-2020 1348 / PG Southeast Qld Incident Rainbow Beach OZONE ULTRALIGHT
An international visiting pilot (VP) has arrived on launch at Rainbow Beach (Qld/S) with another pilot. The pilot was advised that the wind strength was due to increase during the afternoon. VP has selected UHF radio channel 13, but has not asked what channel other pilots are using and has not carried out a radio check. He has launched and flying was fine, top-landing a few times. After Launching and ridge soaring for a while VP has noticed he is gaining altitude quite quickly. He has tried to push forward to get in front of the ridge, but has no forward speed and is being pushed backwards. He has then pushed full speed bar, but this has had no effect. The pilot has noticed two other pilots pushing out in front of the ridge, spiralling down and heading to land on the beach. Realising he will not be able to get back in front of the ridge, at an altitude of approx 600 m asl VP has made a decision to turn tailwind and head to a clear area behind Rainbow Beach township to land. He has picked a place behind trees and has made the decision to land into wind at the last possible moment to have as much airspeed as possible. He has landed safely, and has given a statement to Police and has spoken to the SSO about the incident.
When flying any site always check what radio frequency is used, and always do a radio check, to make sure you can be heard and you can hear them. When wind conditions change other pilots or a safety officer will warn pilots of changes in weather conditions. When flying coastal sites always keep an eye on the water for signs of an increase in wind strength, direction, or rain squalls. In stronger conditions do not fly over the ridge or behind, keep far out in front to give yourself time to take evasive action, always keep an eye on your ground speed to see your glider can still penetrate the wind strength. The pilot has made the correct design once he has realised he is not going to be able to get back in front of the ridge and is getting pushed back over the ridge. He has turned tailwind to get as far away from the ridge as possible and land in the safest place possible. The outcome here was good but could have been a lot more serious. VP has been advised of these recommendations.
13-10-2020 12:30 PM 1335 / PG NSW Incident Bangalley Headland Ozone Delta 3
A highly experienced PG5 pilot has launched in wind too light to maintain height, at a coastal site in NSW with limited landing options on tidal rock shelves. PIC has safely landed and packed but was unable to negotiate ocean channels to exit area. Rescued by Surf Life Saving from the rocks after Police and Helicopter turnout.
Conditions were not consistent to maintain a safe margin of variation for a safe flight. All pilots are advised not to launch if conditions will not allow a safe landing.
13-10-2020 05:30 PM 1334 / PG NSW Incident Long Reef UP Summit XC 3
PIC has launched at Long Reef NE launch (NSW) and made a left turn to head upwind on the ridge. PIC has lost weight in the past 12 months and as a result, the wing is not as dynamic. PIC went too deep on the brakes causing a partial stall of the right-wing and a spin was imminent. The pilot was able to recover quickly, stop the spin and gain enough forward airspeed to land safely and softly and in full control on the beach in front without incident.
PIC is now at the bottom of the weight range. Pilots finding themselves in this situation are advised to go groundhandling before flying and take care in the air bearing in mind the changed performance characteristics of their wing.
03-10-2020 05:30 PM 1328 / PPG NSW Incident Manilla Apco Nrg xc2
The experienced pilot was flying a paramotor at Manilla (NSW). After obtaining some height, he has carried out some wingovers, and whilst exiting the wingovers, to lose some of the energy he has entered into a spiral. Whilst in the spiral one of the inner A-lines has snapped at approximately 70mm above the mallion, causing the wing to lock into a spiral dive. The pilot has tried to counter brake to exit the spiral dive, but to no avail, and has made the decision to throw his reserve. It has opened quickly with the pilot approximately 50 m AGL. The pilot has landed under reserve on his feet and has then fallen back onto the frame of the Paramotor. The pilot walked away, with a sore lower back, and some bending to the frame of Paramotor. The pilot has driven to Tamworth hospital, had a CT scan and was given the all-clear of no damage to lower-back.
This was an equipment failure - spirals and wingovers exert extreme G-forces on the pilot and equipment, and Paramotors generally carry a high wing loading. The outcome of this incident was good - flying with a current, packed reserve suitable for the weight of pilot and Paramotor, and the pilot has reacted quickly. The pilot had the reserve repacked within the last 3 months With such a low reserve throw, a reserve that has not been repacked regularly may not have opened as quickly and the outcome could have been a tragedy. Be prepared to throw and throw as early as possible.
19-09-2020 1323 / PG Southeast Qld Incident Niviuk Dobermann II
The pilot has launched at Sunrise Beach (Qld/S) in strong wind with a small Reflex wing (17m2). He has carried out a high banked turn, with a manoeuver which is basically twisting 180 degrees in the harness, facing backwards. This is an advanced manoeuver. While carrying out this manoeuver the highest wing tip has suffered a 40% collapse, possibly due to not enough outside brake. This has caused the wing to stop flying, it has dropped then re-inflated and started flying just before the pilot would have heavily impacted the ground. The pilot has hit the ground just after the wing started flying, but luckily not too hard and into soft scrub. The pilot was not injured, and no damage to equipment or the general public.
This particular flying site on the Sunshine Coast is very sensitive, and is not suitable for this type of flying, being so close to residents houses. To carry out this manoeuver this low to the ground is particularly dangerous. If the wing has not started flying again when it did, it could have been a very serious accident, impacting on the pilot and the flying community.