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
07-03-2021 1474 / PG TAS Accident Lemon Hill NE Nova ION5
A PG pilot's reserve parachute deployed unexpectedly during flight at Lemon Hill (Tas). Reserve deployed, PIC attempted to pull in one of the risers and collapse the main wing, then turned and held onto reserve riser to try and stabilise himself for a hard feet-first landing on a rocky slope near top of hill. Landed hard but only minor cuts and bruises were sustained.
Pilots should not become complacent, preflight checks should be done before every launch to ensure the safe and correct setup of equipment for flight.
13-03-2021 01:00 PM 1471 / PG Southeast Qld Accident Wilsons Peak Phi Allegro
PIC was launching the paraglider from Wilson's Peak, near Toowoomba (Qld/S). This was their 5th flight on this new wing. Conditions were not ideal as the wind had dropped and as a result the wing did not come fully overhead. The wing became fully inflated as they ran off, but the left wing tip has snagged a tree. In response, PIC has applied brake on the opposite (right) side. The wing cleared, but dropped trying to gain airspeed, and the tip snagged a second lower tree. This time the wing stalled, but stayed open as PIC fell heavily to the ground from 5 m agl. They have landed on their back across a 5 cm diameter branch, hitting rocks with their elbow. No damage to equipment. Muscular trauma to back from neck to tibia. Various cuts and bruised bone in elbow.
Always be aware of your surroundings when launching from small launches. Be aware of any dangers and act accordingly. Ensure the wing is fully inflated before committing to the launch.
07-03-2021 10:00 1470 / PPG TAS Accident KEMPTON Niviuk Qubik
PIC was attempting to launch PPG in flat paddock at Kempton (Tas), with nil wind. They have thought they were experiencing lift and prematurely stopped running to sit back in the harness. The motor has contacted the ground and the launch was aborted with damage done to prop, cage and exhaust. No injury.
Pilots, both PG and PPG, should be launching assertively, and continue running at the speed required to launch until their feet are physically lifted off the ground by the wing. Pilots should make sure they still have clear air and control of the glider before seating themselves into the harness.
11-03-2021 08:00 AM 1468 / PG ACT Incident Lake George, Geary's Gap - South Launch Advance Iota
PIC was flying their paraglider at Lake George (ACT). They had just performed a relatively fast and high energy top landing that required a forceful flare. As they pulled up the wing for a relaunch after a couple of harness adjustments, the right brake handle became untied and control of the wing was lost. They brought the wing down by using the left brake and running towards the wing to depower it. There were no injuries or damage.
After inspecting the other knot and the manual, it became obvious that the knot was not the recommended one. Both brakes were tied when the brake lines were replaced when buying the wing (used from a dealer approximately 60 hours ago). Those knots may have been intended as temporary ones while the brake length was sorted out, but since the brakes were the right length, PIC did not return to have them fixed. All pilots are urged to include a check of brake knots as part of their preflight check routine. This is the second instance where brake issues or knots have impacted local pilots. Rear Riser steering is a useful skill that may assist in some cases, and it should be practiced, just in case a break snaps or the brake handle comes off (although it may not have helped in this situation!).
26-02-2021 1465 / PG NSW Incident Coalcliff Niviuk Hook 5
PIC was testing a new paraglider wing on a flight at Stanwell Park (NSW), with the wind SE at 7-10 knots. They have headed SW along the cliff face between Stanwell Park and Coalcliff until they reached the vicinity of Coalcliff station. They have then intended climb to 120 m, then fly across the station and climb further along a spur west of the station until they reached the top of the escarpment west of Coalcliff, an approach to climbing the escarpment resulting from a discussion with a few experienced pilots at Bald Hill. After crossing over the train line, they have become fearful of and fixated with the overhead powerlines, and now west of the train line became fixated on avoiding these. As a result, they did not cross them again, lost focus on their initial plan of climbing the spur W of the station, and instead flew downwind NE along the powerlines, over the thick bush. They have landed in a paddock between two banksia trees. They landed on their feet without injuries, but on landing the glider became entangled in the trees. No damage or injury.
When flying Stanwell and on this flight path, always stay on the upwind side of the ridge line, and always have more height than needed until you know the area better.