Personal Journals about Hang Gliding

Re: The Helicopters of Paragliding

Postby Rick Masters » Sun Oct 18, 2015 11:05 am

Is paragliding the New Hang Gliding?

No. Paragliding is the new parachuting.
It sure looks like a lot of fun in the late day glass-offs. We have more Hg accidents in the LZ than the PGer's do. I'd appreciate your ideas about late day glass-offs using the PG as the vehicle.

    If skilled people flew paragliders only in guaranteed conditions, I never would have criticized flying them. I love flying. Lawn chairs and weather balloons even look fun to me.
    However, there are no guaranteed conditions. Anywhere. Ever. You will never meet an experienced pilot who has never launched into what he assumed to be mild conditions, only to encounter severe turbulence somewhere along his flight path. It happens. It will happen. And when it does, hang glider pilots are glad they did not bring a knife to a gunfight.
    I'd caution you about coming to conclusions about paragliding after studying their performance in ideal conditions. The big problem with paragliding is not when everything goes right. It is when something goes wrong, particularly within the Paraglider Dead Mans Curve - below reserve deployment height. You have no protection. You have no recourse. Your injuries are much more likely to be massive than any hard landing with a hang glider.
    Consider the well-known "paragliding limp." I do not remember ever hearing of a "hang gliding limp." Why is this? I suggest you evaluate the risk of freeflight vehicle choice by the span of a career rather than instance.
    I do not enter a broken leg or broken arm, wrist or finger into my database. That kind of injury is a risk we accept in exchange for the joy of freeflight on any vehicle. It is the high number of massive injuries and deaths in paragliding compared to hang gliding that appalls me.
    It is not sufficient just to say that there are more paragliders flying so there are more accidents. There is a very significant qualitative difference in the severity of paragliding injuries as compared to hang gliding. In the most common paragliding accident - loss of airfoil shape near the ground - the operator will fall vertically, slowed only by the insufficient drag of whatever part of the paraglider's canopy may provide.
    The numbers work out to be pretty scary. Every PGer should know these numbers by heart. None do. Every PGer I've ever discussed the numbers with injects some form of wishful thinking (denial) into the argument.
    When a paraglider's canopy balls up and he falls out of the sky, at the end of the first second he is falling 21.9 mph minus drag.
    By the end of second #2, he is falling at 43.9 mph minus drag.
    By the end of second #3, he is falling at 65.8 mph minus drag.
    By the end of second #4, he is falling at 87.7 mph minus drag.
    By the end of second #5, he is falling at 109.7 mph minus drag.
    You can whack a hang glider dozens of times and walk away. You fix a downtube, you're back in the air. It's not a big deal. But you need only have a collapse near the ground in a paraglider once. Note that without the added drag or some luck in hitting soft or sloping ground, nothing beyond 2 seconds would likely be survivable. The high vertical speed, often augmented by pendulum force, explains the severity of paragliding injuries - both arms and legs broken, crushed pelvis, broken backs, severe internal injuries, commutative (shattered) and open fractures - sometimes all at the same time!
    Those hard hang glider landings you mention, in light or no wind conditions - the ones that go "Whack!" and instill silly fear into the hearts of parachute lovers with the loud energy-absorbing noise - also occur at around 21.9 mph when the hang glider stalls out. The vector however is horizontal. The glider falls vertically only a few inches or feet and the nose digs into the ground, creating the first energy-absorbing collision. In the "second collision," the pilot, if properly trained, swings forward, possibly bending the downtubes or even slamming into the sail's undersurface. In a harder crash, energy is dissipated with every bent or broken piece of tubing. The airframe is protective and expendable. It can save your life in a bad crash. The forces of the collision, that would have been entirely absorbed by the operator of a paraglider, are often transferred to the airframe of a hang glider in an accident, allowing the hang glider pilot to escape serious injury.
    To choose a paraglider over a hang glider is to completely disregard or give up this protection.
    As a hang glider pilot, this makes no sense to me. You do not mention switching from a high performance hang glider to a big single surface hang glider for glass-offs, instead you suggest moving straight to a paraglider. I don't get it.
    That wouldn't even occur to me.    :shock:
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Re: The Helicopters of Paragliding

Postby Rick Masters » Mon Oct 19, 2015 12:20 pm

October 17, 2015
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Panamanian soldiers load a tandem paragliding victim with multiple fractures onto a military heliicopter.
Officials said the tandem flight, conducted inside a National Park, was illegal.
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Re: The Helicopters of Paragliding

Postby Rick Masters » Mon Oct 19, 2015 1:20 pm

July 16, 2015
http://www.eldiariomontanes.es/videos/cantabria/201507/16/rescate-parapentista-suances-4358617963001-mm.html
Helicopter rescue of crashed soaring parachutist with a broken back in Spain.
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Re: The Helicopters of Paragliding

Postby Rick Masters » Thu Oct 22, 2015 7:45 am

October 15, 2015
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Helicopter LN-OLS, an Agusta Westland AW 139 EMS (Emergency Medical Service) helicopter operated by the Lufttransport AS of Norway, retrieves an injured soaring parachutist with broken bones and abdominal injuries. Norway's Aviation Act, a more formal regulation than USA's FAA 103, requires people engaged in freeflight to belong to the Norwegian Air Sports Federation. The injured man was not a member and was fined $2000. Following the incident, the police reported that "illegal flights were taking place to a larger extent" than what was being reported. This concern is being raised now after 40 years of responsible hang gliding in Norway.

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Re: The Helicopters of Paragliding

Postby Rick Masters » Mon Oct 26, 2015 10:19 am

October 26, 2015
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    A 1988 Augusta AB412ep of the Italian Vigili del Fuoco (Fire Department) arrives to transport an injured German paraglider occupant to a hospital.
    On October 16, 2013, I reported in Mythology of the Airframe:

Today, Italy's Journal of Civil Protection warns that "free flight in the foothills" is creating "a crisis that threatens to paralyze emergency services." Complaining that distress calls from an "invasion" of "too many paragliders, hang gliders and ultralights" has become "almost unbearable," the Suem 118 search and rescue organization has proposed a fee to be levied for each takeoff from Mt. Grappa and the surrounding foothills. Aurelio Tommasi, head of the foothill emergency response team of Suem 118, has scheduled a meeting between local flying clubs and the mayors of Borso and Crespano. By charging a fee, "we could regulate takeoffs and landings," says Tommasi, "create a register of pilots, and open a center with a dedicated radio frequency" to monitor flights."
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Re: The Helicopters of Paragliding

Postby Rick Masters » Mon Nov 02, 2015 11:32 am

November 1, 2015
Produced at a cost of $2.3 million dollars, the high-performance Eurocopter AS-350 B3 is powered by an Arriel 2B engine equipped with a single channel (DECU) Digital Engine Control Unit with a mechanical backup system. The Eurocopter AS-350 B3 was the first helicopter to land on the summit of Mount Everest.



Here, a Flight for Life Eurocopter AS-350 B3 rescues a soaring parachutist with possible broken back and legs in Colorado in November 1, 2015.
http://up.anv.bz/latest/anvload.html?key=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Flight for Life N391LG Eurocopter AS-350 B3 and crew. The people who serve daily on medical rescue helicopters may not look exciting but they are braver than any recreational pilot who has ever lived.

The Colorado paraglider crash three days earlier.
http://denver.cbslocal.com/2015/10/29/hanglider-seriously-injured-on-lookout-mountain/

Forget third party public liability insurance, if you USHPA members and the other global orgs were ever required to pay the search and rescue costs for your irresponsible and inevitable paragliding crashes, your associations would go bankrupt. All of them. Paragliding is a taxpayer-supported activity.

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Re: The Helicopters of Paragliding

Postby Rick Masters » Fri Nov 06, 2015 8:49 pm

A single turbine Eurocopter AS350 Écureuil (Squirrel) rescues a paraglider with a broken back from Hatcher Pass in Alaska.
Marketed as the A-Star in North America, this is the model that first touched down on Mt. Everest.

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Re: The Helicopters of Paragliding

Postby Rick Masters » Tue Nov 17, 2015 7:41 am

November 15, 2015
Image
OE-XAR, a twin-turbine Messerschmitt Bolkow Blohm-(MBB) of Air Rescue Austria, winches aboard a seriously injured soaring parachutist from Mt. Martennock.
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Re: The Helicopters of Paragliding

Postby Rick Masters » Wed Nov 18, 2015 10:34 am

October 26, 2015
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Italian rescuers for an injured soaring parachutist arrive in VF-63, a 17-year-old twin-turbine Agusta-Bell AB412EP.
On December 10, 2006, a Bell 412 medical helicopter Mercy Air 2 crashed in mountainous terrain near Hesperia, CA.
All 3 crew members on board died.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_Mercy_Air_Bell_412_crash
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Re: The Helicopters of Paragliding

Postby Rick Masters » Sun Nov 22, 2015 7:49 am

October 30, 2015
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A single-turbine Airbus H125 of Russia's UTair fleet delivers soaring parachutist Chris Van Nordof of South Africa to the Dr Rajinder Prasad Govt Medical College in Tanda, India, on the sixth day of the AAI Paragliding World Cup Championship in Bir. Also, a female competitor was delivered to the hospital in Fortis the same day. The lightweight and powerful H125 can carry a full service load to 7010 meters.
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