Personal Journals about Hang Gliding

Re: Other dangerous sports news

Postby Rick Masters » Wed Apr 11, 2018 10:43 am

Paragliding fatality #1,674, #1,675 and #1.676    April 9, 2018

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A particulary horrible report comes now from Portugal.
An Austrian woman dropped into the Atlantic Ocean surf on a paraglider.
Two friends swam to her rescue and became entangled in the shroud lines and also drowned.
One man washed up on the beach.
The other bodies have not yet been found.
This is among the highest body count of any single paragliding accident I know of.
We never heard of anything like this with hang gliding.
Occassionly the pilot would drown. I remember a rescuer or two drowning, I think, but not due to being caught up in the hang glider.
But the paraglider casts a deadly net in rough water.
Many rescuers are wise enough to not approach the drowning victim under such circumstances.
In fact, the next day, navy divers would not approach the paraglider, caught in a pocket of surf and still attached to the woman's body, for fear of becoming entagled.
Last edited by Rick Masters on Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Other dangerous sports news

Postby wingspan33 » Wed Apr 11, 2018 10:50 am

Rick, after watching the video link above I have one observation. The collapsible canopy occupant suffered serious injuries but doesn't remember the crash or even his hike up the moutain (to get to the launch site?). The concussion he suffered was that bad. :crazy:

In his current state he thinks he may get back into the "sport" once he recovers. This story is analogous to paragliding as a whole. You've got people who are unconscious (unaware) of the dangers of paragliding who start to do it, then you've got this guy who, because of a concussion suffered in a crash - which made him unable to recall (unconscious of) the reasons for the crash (i.e., dangers of paragliding!) - is thinking of starting up again once healed.

As I've said in an earlier post, it's people who are unconscious/unaware/uninformed of the dangers that collapsible canopies/paragliders embody who are the ones who are willing to pursue it.
Last edited by wingspan33 on Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Other dangerous sports news

Postby Rick Masters » Wed Apr 11, 2018 10:57 am

Don't forget, this guy fell from 200 feet in collapse, well within the Paraglider Dead Man's Curve.
That's why he couldnt get his reserve out.
He was asking for it.
He's not just stupid following his concussion.
Like most paraglider gamblers, he was stupid before it.

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Re: Other dangerous sports news

Postby Rick Masters » Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:38 am

1986: The birth of paragliding
These were not hang glider pilots.
They were skydivers.
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Re: Other dangerous sports news

Postby Frank Colver » Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:40 am

The film is dated 1979.

Hmm.....no helmets; running down a rocky hillside with a collapsable glider that can barely get away from the hill what could possibly go wrong?

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Re: Other dangerous sports news

Postby Rick Masters » Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:16 am

Yeah. I think 1979 is the correct year for that film. These guys are probably the French skydivers Jean-Claude Bétemps, André Bohn and Gérard Bosson, making some of the first high flights on their ram-air skydiving parachutes from Pointe du Pertuiset in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. They first went off lower hills in late June 1978, which may have been the correct date for "The Birth of Paragliding" - although I bet some others may have done it earlier and not made a big fuss about it.



When I look back on what I was doing during the same time period on hang gliders, where unlimited buckets of fun were there for the taking, it amazes me that anyone would waste their time on something with such a lousy glide and questionable safety. The one worthy use was for mountain climbers to get down the mountain quickly. I thought that was pretty cool when I first heard of it years later, but by then I was flying over dozens of mountains on each hang gliding flight from the Owens Valley, which was even cooler, so I had no use for it at all.
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Re: Other dangerous sports news

Postby Frank Colver » Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:40 am

In the wind those guys are flying in just to be able to launch and get away from the mountain a "standard Rogollo" would have been soaring the mountain. If one was predisposed to fly in those conditions a reasonable sized adult could have been using a small 25 lbs Rogollo type glider and carried it up almost as easy as the paragliders. See: Dave Kilbourne & Big Sur, Mission Ridge, etc.

BY '78 John Lake's "Sail Feather" had made the standard much safer for dive recovery. Of course by that time it had been surpassed by better, but heavier, flex wing hang glider configurations.

If anyone wants to return to steep mountain, high wind, hike up hang gliding, get a 15' Rogollo, with Sail Feather, and go for it.

Oh, and after landing drink a toast to Kilbourne and Lake. :thumbup: I miss them both.

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Re: Other dangerous sports news

Postby wingspan33 » Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:54 am

I've posted about this before, but in Dan Poynter's book Hang Gliding: The Basic Handbook of Skysurfing (copyrighted in 1973) there are a couple pictures and text on page 189 (3rd printing). The photo captions are "The Barish Wing" and the "The Para Wing".

The text is titled - "Limp vs Rigid" :problem:

The last part of the text describes - ". . . the earliest activity of this sort took place [in] Lake Palcid, New York." That implies strongly that "paragliding" began before 1973. Likely earlier still since it took some time to write the book. And I think it's obvious from the para wing picture that rectangular ram air parachutes were what was first used for what is now called paragliding.
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Re: Other dangerous sports news

Postby Rick Masters » Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:08 am

PG fatality #1,679    April 22, 2018
Would you land a hang glider here?

Of course not. But the body of a soaring parachutist was found here, harnessed to a paraglider.
Rabioux Wave    http://playak.com/destinations/france-south/244-river-durance-rabioux

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Re: Other dangerous sports news

Postby Rick Masters » Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:09 pm

mnbvcxz
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A lot of foolish people think they're hang gliding with parachutes - but nobody ever thinks they're parachuting with hang gliders.
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