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 Post subject: Re: Helmets optional at Torrey?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 12:19 am 
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Hi Joe,

In regard to your Oct 13 story on paragliding, it was added in that there has been one paragliding death in 2010 and an average of 7 in 10,000 [pilot] deaths between 1994 and 2010. Unfortunately, nothing could be farther from the truth. Four U.S. free-flight soaring parachutists died in 1993, bringing the global fatality total at the end of the year to at least the 68 I have verified. By the end of 2010, the global total reached 937 with the death of Martin Vallmitjana, the director of a paragliding school in Patagonia. In the U.S., Edward K. Min died in Montana on May 21, Richard Rallison died in Utah on September 16, Seoung Man Lee died in California on October 11 and Evan T. Whitlock died in Hawaii on December 4. Additionally, David Ogison died attempting to soar a skydiving parachute in California on June 10 and Gabriel Al-Salem of the U.S. died in Kazakhstan on November 27.

Rick Masters
[posted to US Hawks Oct 15 2014]

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 Post subject: Re: Helmets optional at Torrey?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2014 9:00 pm 
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Rick,

It looks like you sent a reply to the TV reporter. Bravo! I'm wondering, did you receive a reply?

I was thinking of doing the same. In thinking just now, I would have asked where the reporter got his stats. Perhaps the USHPA? Did the USHPA list only one (US?) PG fatality in 2010?

As far as the 7 in 10,000 stat, I wonder about that as well. World wide I would expect that there are now a large % more inflatable canopy fliers as compared to hang glider pilots. From student to more experienced, does anyone have any idea how many inflatable canopy occupants there are? You can only quote an X in 10,000 stat if you know the X variable. I suspect that sales figures for inflatable canopies would be the best way to judge this.

Maybe you know this Rick? Does the inflatable canopy industry have its own version of the HGMA? Now, canopy sales aren't the same as the number of occupants, but a valid figure could be derived. Subtract 33% as canopies being bought to replace 3 year old sun damaged units. Then there's the ?% of CCOs (collapsible canopy occupants) who give up the sport each year - who's canopies are simply taking up closet (as opposed to air) space. Hmmmmmmm.

I think it's easier to find the fatalities per year than the number of active participants in any particular year.


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 Post subject: Re: Helmets optional at Torrey?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2014 11:44 am 
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I rarely receive replies from the press. They prefer "accredited" sources like the Torrey Pines concessionaire. Besides, if they use my figures, it makes them look incompetent. Genuine statistics require a list/database. Without a database, any statistical deductions are meaningless. However, if you are an "accredited" source, you can bandy about phony statistics with little blowback from the press or the public or PG newbies. This is good for business.

The more soaring parachutists there are, the easier it is to make a claim that paragliding is safe. The numbers are based on membership, NOT paragliders manufactured. Every newbie who starts training has to buy public liability insurance through membership in a national PG/HG organization. If they don't complete the course or stop flying later, there is NO incentive or legal requirement for these organizations to adjust the total.

Also, because most serious accidents occur inland in thermal turbulence, it is important for PG retailers and organizations to skew public safety perception by diluting inland accident totals with high numbers of safer beach fliers. So it is easy to arrive at 0.7 fatalities per 1000 soaring parachutists per year.

Let's look at 2010 for this claim, using the claim of 1 fatality in 2010. How many soaring parachutists are there? x=(1000/.7)=1428 Is that close? I doubt it, but you tell me. The U$HPA Annual Reports are not available to the press, public or any former USHGA member like myself who dropped his membership. You U$HPA supporters, however, might be able to find out here: https://www.ushpa.aero/member_login.asp and search for the Annual Report.

Perhaps the U$HPA missed some accident data due to preoccupation. In the U$HPA "2010 Paragliding Injuries Summary," PG safety officer Mike Steed wrote, "A bit of advice – if you have to crash, do it right where nearly every medically-trained person in the county is either already assembled, or is about to arrive. Thanks to you all for getting me quickly and safely to a hospital despite my being mostly unconscious. I have since recovered from injuries that included 6 broken vertebrae. Thanks also to good medical insurance, plus the repatriation insurance that flew me to another hospital near home for surgery."

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 Post subject: Re: Helmets optional at Torrey?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2014 10:35 am 
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RickMasters wrote:
I rarely receive replies from the press. They prefer "accredited" sources like the Torrey Pines concessionaire.

:srofl:

RickMasters wrote:
Genuine statistics require a list/database. Without a database, any statistical deductions are meaningless. However, if you are an "accredited" source, you can bandy about phony statistics with little blowback from the press or the public or PG newbies. This is good for business.

Very astute observations Rick!!

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 Post subject: Re: Helmets optional at Torrey?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2014 10:39 am 
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wingspan33 wrote:
It looks like you sent a reply to the TV reporter. Bravo! I'm wondering, did you receive a reply?

I was thinking of doing the same. In thinking just now, I would have asked where the reporter got his stats. Perhaps the USHPA? Did the USHPA list only one (US?) PG fatality in 2010?

Here in San Diego, paraglider crashes are often reported by the press as "hang glider" crashes. I wonder where they get that information? Imagine that you're a reporter doing a story on a rescue. Who are you going to call? The only public phone number for the Torrey Pines site is the concessionaire itself. Hmmm.... So why do you think the press might be continually reporting paragliding crashes as "hang gliding" crashes?

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 Post subject: Re: Helmets optional at Torrey?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2014 1:51 pm 
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Quote:
...why do you think the press might be continually reporting paragliding crashes as "hang gliding" crashes?


Well, in most cases the press simply doesn't know the difference. But I did find one hilarious incident from Austria of a soaring parachutist and his friends trying to evade the "dangerous sports" medical insurance exemption in their universal coverage. The poor guy slammed vertically onto a paved road and broke some limbs. He's lying there in bloody agony and his friends show up. But before they call the ambulance, they take off the victim's harness and hide it along with the sail. Then they grab a bicycle from somewhere and throw it down next to the guy so it looks like he had a bike crash. So the the paramedics arrive and haul his broken body to the hospital but, after x-rays, the doctors realize there is no way his injuries could have happened in a bicycle crash. They're too severe. Pulverized bone fragments (comminuted fracture) or something. And they look like - gasp! - paragliding injuries - which doctors in that region are all to familiar with. So the doctors call the cops and ask them to check the scene a little more thoroughly. And the cops find the guy's bloody harness and paraglider in somebody's car trunk! Something like that. Anyway, it did not go well for all involved. Of course, hang glider pilots would never do anything like that. ; )

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 Post subject: Re: Helmets optional at Torrey?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2014 3:12 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Helmets optional at Torrey?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2014 5:22 am 
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Torrey PG pilot returns to the air!
http://www.shropshirestar.com/news/2014 ... iff-crash/

Do visiting Brits ever pay their medical bills? I don't know of any who didn't stiff the hospitals and U.S. taxpayers.

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 Post subject: Re: Helmets optional at Torrey?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 6:38 am 
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"I have two heads..."
Two-headed paraglider man crashes at Torrey.
Was he wearing two helmets? Or not?
http://www.shropshirestar.com/news/2014 ... iff-drama/

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 Post subject: Re: Helmets optional at Torrey?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 1:15 pm 
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I'm confused about the 2-headed man's takeoff. Don't people also need wind to soar cliffs in Britain? I flew a hang glider at Torrey once in a nice breeze. I can't imagine an easier takeoff. But if you launch in no wind, what is it you are planning to do? Go down to the beach and hang out, I guess. But what is the point? Why not just drive down to the beach and hang out? You don't need a rescue helicopter to do that. The single-headed people at Paragliding Forum told me I needed to fly paragliders before I could say anything about them. I suppose they think I should grow another head before I talk about launching a paraglider from a cliff in no wind. But I've already launched from many cliffs in no wind - they just weren't at the beach and there were thermals out there and I was on a real aircraft, not a parachute. So I know what it's like, sort of, to fly a paraglider in no wind. It's like maybe flying around past stall in a hang glider, which is kinda stupid. I guess if I had two heads and a paraglider, that would be fine, but frankly, I like to fly hang gliders fast enough to have full control at all times. That's why I dive a bit when I launch a hang glider in no wind - to build up control speed. But how do you dive a paraglider in no wind? How does that work? Isn't that what the two-headed man did when he dove off the cliff with his paraglider? He dove halfway down the cliff and went splat. I guess I just have to grow another head and dive off a cliff in a paraglider and go splat to know what it's really like and make the single-headed people at Paragliding Forum happy.

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