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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
09-11-2019 15:00 1146 / HG VIC Incident Spion/Anglesea Moyes RX
The PIC was flying his hang glider at Spion Kop, a coastal site in Vic. Pilot was low on the dunes around 50m east of the main launch in a strong easterly. He has turned into wind expecting some lift, however in a due East that particular section doesn't work and he has flopped into the bushes. No damage done.
Main take-away from this is to take the safe option and land on the beach if you find yourself in this position.
02-11-2019 09:15 1145 / PG VIC Accident A tree on the west side of Morses Creek Rd opposite the base line / southern end of Shouey's paddock LZ Nova ION4
A low airtime pilot launched at Mystic, an inland site in NE Victoria, into marginal conditions above that pilot's skill level. This pilot subsequently made a bad decision ("big ears" at an inappropriate stage of the flight) resulting in a degraded glide that forced a tree landing. No injuries were sustained, however the wing was damaged beyond the point of repair.
1. Counsel the pilot (this has already been done). 2. The club controlling the site (NEVHGC) should provide guidelines to any pilot wishing to site brief low airtime/visitor pilots.
21-10-2019 16:10 1137 / PG VIC Incident Eastern View - Moggs Creek Rise2 - 28
The PIC was flying at Spion Kop, a coastal site in Victoria. The winds went light with a resultant loss of lift. As a consequence the pilot made a landing in bushes. After untangling the paraglider and reaching the road he was met by a concerned member of the public who had called Emergency Services. The pilot allayed their fears and thanked all concerned, then was offered a lift back to launch and flew again.
Be mindful of the possibility of conditions becoming sub-optimal and have a Plan B always in mind. Where possible, try and let folk nearby that all is ok. No further recommendations.
09-10-2019 12:00 1125 / PG VIC Incident Flinders Golf Course Air Design Susi 2
The PIC has launched from Flinders Golf Course, a coastal site in Victoria. On a second flight, PIC has turned above a line of trees used as reference to go no further towards a bowl with known rough air in the conditions evident on the day. There was insufficient vertical clearance, as the wing has encountered strong sinking air during the turn and the harness has connected with a branch of a tree. This has caused the wing to depressurise and when more sink encountered, the wing did not continue to fly. PIC has made a hard landing from a height of 3 m without injury and no damage to equipment.
It is well known at this site, that as the wind becomes or is turning back from S to SW that the Flinders bowl (west of launch) becomes rotored, pilot will encounter and pilots have encountered such rotors... The more SW the winds become, the more distance a pilot needs to stay away from the bowl.. Probably not a good idea to launch or if they do, fly to the east of launch, or maybe go and fly Cairns Bay which is better in these conditions...
06-10-2019 1126 / PG North Qld Incident Eungella Qld Advance Epsilon 8
PIC has launched from Eungella, inland from Mackay in North Queensland. After working the bowl above the Chalet he has headed east along the ridge to the south of the town. The wind was flowing E to NE. The pilot has entered an area where the topography has caused a lee to occur with rotor resulting. Even though he felt he had a good amount of separation from terrain (approx. 180 m vertical), he has encountered significant turbulence. This has resulted in a major collapse, leading to a cravatte with accompanying rotation. The pilot has attempted to recover the wing, but after 4-5 rotations elected to throw his reserve, and come down through the jungle ending up with his feet just touching the ground. A colleague has observed this and called immediately confirming that all was ok. The pilot then recovered his gear and walked out, without injury and only a small tear to the underside of the leading edge of the wing.
Due caution must be paid to the combination of wind direction and strength interacting with terrain and creating areas of rotor. These areas may be quite extensive and should be avoided. Luckily this pilot has thrown the reserve with sufficient altitude.
05-10-2019 13:24 1123 / PG VIC Accident Flinders Monument Gin Atlas
PIC had undertaken a check flight during which all went well with a good launch, flight and landing. PIC has then launched for second flight with good launch again. Pilot has made a 360 in too close proximity to the hill and then entered a leading edge face down spiral (steep 360 turn) while attempting to navigate away from the hill and impacted the ground. PIC has sustained stable fractures to lower vertebrae.
If not having flown in a while, pilots should be flying with more care especially at a new site.