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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
12-02-2020 01:30 PM 1218 / PG VIC Incident Advance Omega Xalps 2
PIC was competing in Task 2 of the Bright PG Open 2020. Having missed the part of a pre-flight briefing where a hard-to-see power line in a landing area was mentioned, the pilot failed to see that power line and flew into it. The pilot self extracted safely and the equipment was recovered later. No damage or injury.
Pilots are reminded of the importance of attending an entire pre-flight briefing, especially if they are unfamiliar with a given site. Such briefings serve to identify local hazards that would otherwise go unnoticed until it's too late.
06-02-2020 14:00 PM 1220 / PG VIC Incident 3 Tempo Court, Bright, Vic. 3741 Advance Iota
PIC was flying from Mystic, Bright (Vic.). A forced landing onto a rooftop in a housing estate resulted from the pilot attempting to find lift too late into the latter stages of the flight to ensure a glide to a safe landing area. No damage or injury.
PIlots are reminded that, once airborne in an unpowered aircraft, their primary priority should be to always ensure an easy glide to a safe permitted landing area.
30-01-2020 02:00 PM 1215 / PG NSW Incident 800m East of Mt Borah Manilla Mac Para Eden 7
PIC was flying in the Manilla XC Camp (NSW), on glide due East at an altitude of approximate 2100m when he flew through a very strong thermal. The canopy pitched back and the right wing tip became wrapped around the right outer risers. The PIC then flew out the other side of the thermal into rapidly sinking air where the canopy then shot forward rapidly and quickly entered a spiral dive. The PIC tried to weight shift and use brake pulls on the cravatted side to clear the cravat. The cravat couldn't be cleared by the PIC and after 3 rapid spiral rotations, the PIC chose to deploy his reserve. The PIC landed safely in a field below and walked away without injury.
The PIC had not undertaken a SIV and had reached the limits of his knowledge to successfully clear the cravat. He was also aware of the possibility of black-out from the G forces endured during the spiral drive and chose to deploy the reserve preemptively, even though he had enough height to continue to try and resolve the cravat. If in doubt, deploy the reserve. It is better to deploy the reserve early rather than leave it until too late. If you are stating to lose situational awareness or experiencing building G-forces, deploy.
27-01-2020 11:00 AM 1209 / PG NSW Accident Mt. Borah Manilla Gin Bolero 4
The pilot was a PG2 attending the Manilla XC camp (NSW) in the 'fun' non-competition category. The pilot had made a successful flight from the same launch site the previous day. At around 11am, with 20 or 30 fliers at the launch site there were already a few pilots in the air; 8 or 10 pilots had launched and ascended or were maintaining. Conditions were slightly gusty and cycling. There was one other pilot in the air in the immediate vicinity when the pilot launched. Immediately on launch the pilot turned left along the ridge, and attempted to gain height from ridge lift. On the first turn at about 100m along the slope at the end of the ridge the pilot turned left toward the slope without having gained sufficient separation distance. The wing crashed into a tree on the slope, with the wing draped over the crown of the tree. The pilot was uninjured and self-extracted, but the wing was unable to be removed without cutting risers.
All pilots should turn away from the hill when close to terrain. Do not turn towards the hill, unless you are absolutely certain you have sufficient horizontal clearance, taking into account the prevailing wind direction blowing towards the hill, or you have sufficient vertical separation from the hill top.
26-01-2020 07:35 PM 1210 / PG VIC Accident Thirteenth Beach, W31 Gradient Free Style 3
PIC had been flying for 4-4.5 hours, 2 of which on a Freestyle wing, at 13th Beach, Barwon Heads near Geelong in Victoria. During a beach launch, pilot lost situational awareness of a timber beach post. As soon as the pilot was airborne (feet off the ground), was hit by a gust and flew too close to and hit the post. No damage to equipment. Bruising and swelling to thigh.
A momentary distraction coupled with many hours flying on this day resulted in the collision with obstacle located close to launch position. Be aware of your fatigue levels when having a day out flying. Freestyle wings require more pilot input and control and can accelerate onset of fatigue.
24-01-2020 1211 / HG Southeast Qld Complaint Lockyer Waters
CASA forwarded a complaint from an anonymous source, concerning PPC operations in the Lockyer area (Qld/S).
SAFA Ops Team investigated and determined that the PPC belonged to a SAFA member and instructor. From the video evidence supplied there was determined to be no breach of procedures or regulations. There are a number of vexatious complainants in the area, the properties of which are clearly indicated in the local club resources and these properties are avoided assiduously. CASA have been notified of the investigation determinations.