HKPA report number 14

Site: Shek O

(***Click here for site guide***)

Date of Event: Sunday 24th of February 2013

This Accident report was filed on Wednesday 27th of February 2013 and the last change to the report was made on Friday 15th of March 2013 by Trevor Gribble

Injury Index = 3
( 0 =No Injuries or Minor - brief visit to Doctor)
( 1 =Significant - hospitalized or work time loss less than 48 hours)
( 2 =Temporary Disabling Injuries)
( 3 =Permanent Partial Disabling Injuries)
( 4 =Permanent Total Disability)
( 5 =Fatal injuries)

Details:

A pilot holding a Novice (PG1) Licence with 2-3 years of experience whist flying at Shek O at approximately 18-1900hrs on Sunday 24th of February 2013.

The conditions at the time were reported to be Smooth with a NE wind blowing approximately 31-35kph. The temperature was 20-24deg C with Some Cloud and Hazy Visibility.

There were reported to be 2-5 pilots at the site.

Factors in this Accident:
Hard Landing
Injury
Collapse
Tree Impact
Airmanship
Strong Winds
AMBULANCE
Rotor

Event Description:

From Statements the following was described:

Pilot involved was flying at Shek O in strong wind conditions. Fellow pilot left the ridge and landed at main beach. Pilot involved had discussed landing on Golf Course.

Witness pilot radioed the Pilot after landing and heard no response and assumed the pilot had landed on golf course.

Pilot in fact was struggling with increasing winds to the point that Ground speed had dropped to (zero)

Pilot applied Big Ears and speed bar in an attempt to penetrate to the front of the ridge, but did not make it. In fact was blown to the Lee-Side of the ridge, suffered a collapse and rotor and landed heavily in the trees, injuring the pilot spine. The Pilot called 999 and was finally rescued around 2am on the 25th of Feb having been there for 6 hours.

The pilot reports injuries and possibly 2 months to recover after 1 week in hospital.

Committee Response: (if any )

Many Factors to play here:

Flying alone, Flying late in the day, Being alert for changing conditions especially around dusk, possibly incorrect technique when dealing with increasing wind.

*** When you can, fly with a friend and check each other are ok
*** When dealing with increasing wind and penetration, if you use speedbar to ACCELERATE the paraglider, you give yourself the best chance to penetrate. Big Ears will increase DRAG, this will SLOW YOU DOWN making it harder to penetrate. Big Ears and Speedbar are for DESCENDING. Your best defence to being blown back is to OBSERVE THE CONDITIONS and AVOID THEM !...Another option if you have room is to turn down wind and fly past the rotor and attempt to avoid the rotor ( ONLY IF YOU HAVE NO OTHER OPTION !! See Diagram !! )

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paragliding

Big Ears
Pulling on the outer A-lines folds the wing tips in drastically deteriorating the glide angle with only a small decrease in forward speed.
As the effective wing area is reduced, the wing loading is increased and it becomes more stable. However the angle of attack is increased and the craft is closer to stall speed, but this can be ameliorated by applying the speed bar.

Committee Action: (if any )

Tried to contact the pilot to check on pilots condition. HKPA members have contacted the pilot ( 26 feb )
Pilot emailed that he was feeling better (28 feb 2013

Attached Files: CLICK ON IMAGE TO SEE LARGER VERSION