|Date||No. / Discipline||State||Description||Recomendation|
|19-02-2023||1809 / PG||VIC|| Incident Little Pyramid, Bright. ozone Zeno 2
PIC was competing in the 2023 edition of the Bright PG Open (Vic). They have lost control of their wing in turbulent thermic conditions leading to a cravat, followed by a line-twisting spin that locked the canopy into an unrecoverable "Sat" type maneuver. At that stage, the reserve was deployed. PIC has landed without sustaining injury or damage to equipment.
|Pilots flying high-performance wings in turbulent air should remain vigilant and prepared to respond swiftly and correctly to violent collapses. All pilots should practice finding their reserve deployment handles in-flight and be mentally prepared for the possibility that they might need to deploy their reserve. If the decision is made to throw the reserve, do not hesitate! Ensure you have studied and rehearsed the Parachute Landing Fall (PLF) manoeuvre to reduce the risk of injury on landing.|
|14-02-2023||1805 / PG||VIC|| Accident Mystic Launch Ozone Zeno 2
PIC was competing in the 2023 edition of the Bright PG Open (Vic). The pilot tripped and fell on launch due to a failing launch sequence, sustaining a dislocated shoulder. They then rolled over in the process of regaining their footing, and the shoulder relocated. No damage to equipment.
|Pilots should aim for a given phase of the launch sequence to be optimal before progressing to the next phase. This mitigates the risk of the next phase becoming risky.|
|10-02-2023 02:30 PM||1802 / PG||NSW|| Incident LONG REEF Air Design Rise 4
PIC was flying their paraglider with one other PG pilot at Long Reef (NSW). Both were approx. 15 m above ridge height, with PIC1 in the middle of the ridge and PIC2 towards the eastern end of the ridge. A Westpac Rescue helicopter has approached from the south at near ridge height. PIC1 was able to top-land, but PIC2 had to maintain altitude and wait for any turbulence to pass, The helicopter passed around the headland and continued to follow the contour of the ridge line in a north-westerly direction. Pilot 2 experienced wake turbulence from the helicopter. The aircraft registration has been determined and this matter has been referred to CASA and the ATSB.
|Powered aircraft of all types generate significant wake turbulence that presents a hazard to all aircraft. Pilots in this situation should land if possible, prepare for rough air and in the case of PGs a possible collapse of the wing. Pilots witnessing other aircraft operating in close proximity at sites designated on aeronautical charts are encouraged to notify SAFA Operations (firstname.lastname@example.org), report the incident to CASA (https://www.casa.gov.au/about-us/contact-us/low-flying-aircraft-complaints) and to make a confidential report to the ATSB (https://www.atsb.gov.au/form/repcon-confidential-reporting-sc).|
|28-01-2023 12:30 AM||1770 / PG||Southeast Qld|| Accident Gerrards Lookout, Maleny-Montville road Advanced Iota
The PIC has launched from Gerard's Lookout (Qld/S); weather conditions were good for the site with winds light 5 to 8 knots ENE - slightly crossed. Light winds mean no ridge lift is present, so only thermic flying is possible. PIC was flying, turning figure of eights in light lift in front of launch, approximately 30m above the height of launch. They felt a strong thermal with more lift (approximately 4 m/s) and turned hard right to try to core the thermal. The left wing collapsed due to hitting the edge of the thermal. PIC has applied even more right-hand brake and weight shift to counteract the wing trying to turn left. This caused the right-hand wing to collapse, resulting in the glider spinning to the right. PIC was now facing West toward the launch, and heading towards and at the same altitude as powerlines behind the launch, directly above the fence and viewing shelter. At this stage, the wing is still not fully flying and is still slightly stalled. PIC pulled the brakes even deeper to prevent flying into the powerlines, and with more left brake to avoid landing on the shelter. The wing has fully stalled and back flown enough to avoid the fence line. PIC fell in a stall from approximately 10 m agl, landing heavily on the base of their spine, facing up the hill towards the west. After impacting the ground the PIC fell backwards down the hill hitting their head with enough force for the helmet to come off. Other pilots came to assistance immediately, including a paramedic and GP. They stabilised the pilot, who lost consciousness for approximately 60 seconds. The pilot had trouble breathing and complained of no feeling in their legs. Their shoulders were lifted slightly at the scene to enable the pilot to breath Paramedics arrived, cut the pilot from their harness, fitted a neck collar and spinal board then transported them by ambulance to a local school, to be airlifted by helicopter for treatment of spinal injuries - fractures to C3, C4, C7, T1 and L1. Pilot at present has paralysis from the chest down, with some movement in arms and shoulders. The glider the PIC was flying was tested for porosity, and line trim. Results showed line trim was acceptable. However, the porosity of the fabric was very poor, and with very high hours of use on the glider.
|When flying always remain aware of your altitude relative to terrain, especially in thermic conditions. Thermals can produce very strong sink or turbulent air that can affect your glider. Also be aware of any obstacles such as powerlines, roads or structures that would impact your ability to fly safely; never fly too close to these. In this case, a turbulent thermal caused the glider to collapse, and a resulting spin left the pilot flying toward powerlines. Always maintain a safe vertical and hoizontal separation relative to other aircraft, ground or obstacles. The condition of the glider (i.e., porosity, line trim) affects the glider's performance and flight and collapse recovery characteristics. A porous glider can be prone to stalling with its ability to re-inflate after a collapse diminished. Although the increased porosity may not have directly causes the accident, it could well have contributed to it collapsing prematurely in the encounter with the thermal, and with the pilot's deep brake application, also slowing re-inflation. When purchasing a used paraglider always get it checked, paying particular attention to the porosity of the fabric, line trim, and damage to canopy, lines and risers. High hours of sun and sea-air exposure can degrade the wing's material significantly.|
|16-01-2023 15:31||1761 / PG||NSW|| Incident Bombala street Dudley NSW PHI MAESTRO 2 LIGHT
PIC has launched from the Bombala Street launch at Dudley (NSW). They have pushed to the south, rounding the corner at the lookout anticipating lift off the cliffs. This has not occurred and they have instead encountered sink. Realising that they are well past a safe landing area, they have turned and run downwind, only just reaching a small area of sand clear of the sea. They have skidded in and bounced off a rock with their right shin, suffering minor abrasions. No damage.
|Pilots need to be aware of their closest safe landing zone at all times. Do not stray beyond being able to make that landing in anticipation of gaining lift further down your intended flight path. Just because it has happened previously does not guarantee it will occur every time. Complacency is to be avoided.|