PARAGLIDING remains dangerous (2004) - [Has this changed at all? - RM]
Paragliding is one of the highest-risk sports. Last year, ten paragliders died [in Austria]. Annually in paragliding, 900 are injured.
Vienna (OTS) - Paragliding is flying without long preparation or complicated technology. According information from the Austrian Aero Club, there are approximately 8600 paragliders in Austria. The risk of accidents in paragliding is extremely high. Analyses of Unfallhergänge show that most accidents are caused by failure of the pilots.
Every year there is one accident for every ten paragliders
In the past three years [2001-2004] an annual average of 900 paragliders were treated in the hospital after accidents. Thus, each year about ten percent of all active paragliders have an accident. 80 percent are subjected to broken bones; one in two (47 percent) injures his spine. The accident statistics come from the Institute "Sicher Leben."
About one third of the accidents occurred at takeoff, in the landing phase and during the flight. 78 per cent of accidents are due to thermal problems, wind gusts and turbulence. These data were obtained from an analysis of reported to Austro Control Unfallhergänge.
There are always serious and very serious injuries that need to be treated in hospitals. Falls from relatively high altitude (between five and 15 meters) often result in severe back and pelvic injuries. Injuries to the lower limbs are the result of takeoff or landing accidents - for example, fractures of the ankle..
Pilot error is the main cause of accidents [i.e. - making the choice to fly a parachute in turbulence. - RM]
These often occur at takeoff and landing errors. Accidents happen when you start, for example by lateral collapse or stumbling; Falls on or just above the ground are the result. On landing, it comes at the high or low-coupled approach in wrong direction corrections or when landing with a tailwind to accidents.
The most common cause of accidents is the so-called "collapse". In a "collapse," the sail is folded on the side or the front. The glider loses its capacity to fly and stalls.
[Here you can see the reseachers cannot grasp the concept that the problem is beyond the ability of training to fix. To them, it is incomprehensible that people would fly dangerously insufficient aircraft in such numbers. It must be a training problem, they believe. - RM]
Novices, due to lack of experience, are often not in a position to correctly manage slipstream turbulence and downdrafts, takeoff and landing phases or to react appropriately in case of complications.
Paragliders must complete training diligently
"Paragliding is a risk sport. Paragliders must diligently complete appropriate training. It is not enough to acquire only the minimum of knowledge. Only those who really dominate the sport can better estimate the dangers," said Dr. Rupert Kisser, director of the Institute" Sicher Leben. "
...[suggestions to improve training]http://www.ots.at/presseaussendung/OTS_ ... efaehrlich