Extraordinary Carnage for One Day

Please tell what happened and how it might have been avoided. Names should be ommitted. This forum should help others learn from mistakes that caused or nearly caused a mishap.
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Jim
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Extraordinary Carnage for One Day

Post by Jim » Fri Dec 11, 2015 5:42 pm

Since no one posted their own...

Monday, November 30th was very gusty at launch, 10 to 25mph. Thirteen pilots showed up. Only nine made it off and eight made it safely to the LZ.

1. From the main launch, H4 pilot cleared the wire crew. While taking a step, the right wing raised pulling the glider and the pilot to the left and finally turning the glider 180 degrees, tail up, into the wind. The glider flipped and the pilot fell onto the sail breaking a downtube. No injury to pilot. Lack of control at launch was possibly due to the pilot's body position in the control frame and turbulent conditions.

2. H4 pilot with three-man wire crew positioned to launch from the saddle. Launch was reportedly perfect. Witnesses then noticed the pilot hanging by hands from the control frame until the pilot released grip and fell around 10 feet to the ground. Glider shot straight up 80-100 feet, turned toward the ground, flipped, dove and recovered in time to impact on the control frame and keel, cartwheeled once and came to rest right-side up before damaging any other gliders. Pilot sustained minor injuries (scratches, bruises), possible sprain to hand. Two downtubes, several bent or broken battens and a keel for the glider. One wire crew member remarked that pilot seemed to be in a rush to launch.

3. H4 pilot launched from saddle. Aloft but with left wing tip dragging, glider turned 180 degrees back into the mountain. Pilot pushed out hard and impacted softly. No injury, no reported damage. Another pilot familiar with the saddle launch remarked that the incident pilot launched in a lull.

4. H4 pilot landing in good conditions (light, straight in breeze in LZ) turns to final. Other pilots present immediately remarked, "he's high." Pilot remained prone and increased speed, diving down to the grass ramp. Glider continued at speed toward overshoot ramp where the pilot dragged feet and then took several steps to the end of the ramp before pulling in hard. Pilot impacted, at speed, on the up-slope to the SIBL parking area at the bottom of the road to the wash. Pilot sustained a deep gash to lower leg, cut on hand and probably a very stiff neck from slamming head-first into the soft dirt. Broken downtube and possible damage to a carbon wing-extender that was catapulted into the wash by the force of the impact. Pilot was unfamiliar with all aspects of the LZ (first flight here) and reportedly this was his second flight after 1 year off.

Oh, yeah, the count isn't quite right.

5. H4 pilot with unknown time off (living out of state) chose to fold-up and drive down due to conditions.

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JD
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USHPA Accident/Incident Report System

Post by JD » Fri Dec 11, 2015 10:06 pm

Thanks for the club report, Jim.

This would be a really good time for the pilots to submit their reports into the new, confidential USHPA Accident/Incident Report System: https://airs.ushpa.aero/

This would be valuable information that will help others avoid repeating the same experiences. Thanks in advance to the pilots. Witnesses may also report as well.

Cheers,
JD

brianscharp
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Re: USHPA Accident/Incident Report System

Post by brianscharp » Mon Dec 14, 2015 10:13 am

Whatever you do don't write about it here. If you have valuable information that will help others avoid repeating the same experiences you should put it where only three people can access it and wait to see if they ever release it.

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Bob Kuczewski
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Post by Bob Kuczewski » Thu Dec 17, 2015 1:21 am

Well said, Brian.
Join a National Hang Gliding Organization: US Hawks at ushawks.org
View my rating at: USHGRS

jimshaw
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Post by jimshaw » Thu Dec 17, 2015 4:01 pm

Brian and Bob, am I missing something? Did JD suggest not to list here also? Unless I am all wet, an apology may be in order from you both. If I stand corrected I will gladly do so myself.

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JD
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Post by JD » Thu Dec 17, 2015 6:52 pm

jimshaw wrote:Brian and Bob, am I missing something? Did JD suggest not to list here also? Unless I am all wet, an apology may be in order from you both. If I stand corrected I will gladly do so myself.
Jim, Even if you were mistaken (which you are not), you would in no way owe either poster an apology of any kind since neither one flies at Sylmar or has any say in our club's affairs. What you are reading smacks of cynicism toward USHPA and should be taken up directly with the board of USHPA. The conduct you are seeing in juvenile at best and none of this has any place on the SHGA forum. What our members chose to post about their accidents here is their own free choice. There is no obligation to share or discuss details of one's own accidents in public, period.

Since the AIRS database is confidential and the records therein are protected by statute and cannot be subpoenaed or even externally disclosed. This frees pilots of the hazards that come with divulging details of accidents in which they are involved. In theory this paves the way for broader and more detailed accident reporting in which the details may be sanitized, summarized and then disclosed in public and in a manner that benefits interested pilots.

If anyone wishes to rant and curse to his or her hearts desire then do what I did and join Tad Eareckson and company at http://www.kitestrings.org/forum2.html. Of if anyone wishes to be conspiracy theorist then do what I also did and join BobK and the gang at US Hawks: http://www.ushawks.org/forum/search.php ... ive_topics. Why not? I had an acquaintance who, in the mid-60s was simultaneously members of the John Birch Society and Students for a Democratic Society. Who says you can't have it both ways?

jimshaw
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Post by jimshaw » Fri Dec 18, 2015 8:52 am

JD, nicely written.

Jim, I for one appreciate your post very much. And as you already know, I am sure the silent majority of us Kagelites do as well!

As my good friend in England likes to say, "Well done!" - to both of you.

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