News from HangGliding.org

Syndicate content Hang Gliding Org
Updated: 20 hours 21 min ago

Incident Reports :: RE: Fatal HG crash in Tres Pinos CA 4-3-2016

19 August, 2016 - 19:54
Author: mlbco
Posted: Fri Aug 19, 2016 11:54 am (GMT -8)

dayhead wrote: How many pilots have to die as a result of The Lockout?

It's insane to keep insisting that a purely weight-shift controlled aircraft can be towed safely.

I will sheepishly admit I'm in agreement with these sentiments. Why sheepishly? Because the current crop of HG pilots tends to be at the upper level of the experience scale (older and pre-sorted by the Darwinian nature of what we do) and gets away with all sorts of stuff that a lesser experienced group would not. To some extent this masks the difficulties of flying an aircraft with non-standard stability and control issues in a challenging flight mode, i.e. towing a weight shift flex wing. In one of the towing accident threads I suggested considering the mandatory use of fixed vertical surface on all towed gliders but that was not well accepted.

All I can say is that I'm impressed by all the flex wing pilots who've managed to tow safely for so long. I've never towed a flex wing and don't plan to try it, I've only towed in a aerodynamically controlled rigid wing and that's challenging enough for me.

Steve

Incident Reports :: RE: Fatal HG crash in Tres Pinos CA 4-3-2016

19 August, 2016 - 18:59
Author: dayhead
Posted: Fri Aug 19, 2016 10:59 am (GMT -8)

How many pilots have to die as a result of The Lockout?

It's insane to keep insisting that a purely weight-shift controlled aircraft can be towed safely.

The only aircraft that should be considered acceptable for towing are those that have demonstrated the ability to recover from any attitude while being towed.

It simply amazes me that every time we have a towing accident the conversation always ends up focused on releasing, or on the merits or deficits of any particular release mechanism. Anytime a pilot being towed has to release before the normal time should be a red flag warning that we have a serious equipment deficiency that needs fixing.

Nobody says a word about lockouts, or our susceptibility to getting locked out while flying a purely weight-shift controlled aircraft.

We aren't trying hard enough. We're just like the Pg crowd, trading safety and performance for convenience. The form may be different but the content is the same.

Yeah, I'm just a cranky old curmudgeon. But I'm right.

Hang gliding general :: RE: FAA Addresses Drones Part 107

19 August, 2016 - 18:47
Author: RobertKesselring
Posted: Fri Aug 19, 2016 10:47 am (GMT -8)

jimmygoat wrote: I don't think drones in the sky and hang gliding are a good mix.

The drones are inevitable. If hang gliding can't coexist with drones, then hang gliding will end.

As long as the certification for automated drones ensures that they can see and avoid ALL other air traffic, including us, and even the birds, then I don't see a problem.
_________________
Do something today to inspire a new pilot for tomorrow!

Incident Reports :: RE: Fatal HG crash in Tres Pinos CA 4-3-2016

19 August, 2016 - 18:20
Author: AIRTHUG
Subject: Re: Tragedy at Tres Pinos April 3rd, 2016
Posted: Fri Aug 19, 2016 10:20 am (GMT -8)

First and foremost- I am very, truly, deeply sorry for your loss. I have been around free flight for a long time, and have experienced the loss of people very near me. Logically, it always seems to come back to that they messed up... but that of course does not make it *ANY* easier to cope with, accept, or move forward without them.

I'd like to thank you for your post- while some strong emotions and opinions did soak through, it is evident you are working hard to approach this in a logical manor... and it sounds like your major focus is doing whatever you can, whatever is necessary, so this does not happen again. I may not agree with everything you've said (strongly disagree with some of it, like your comments about Mitch)... but I do not intend to argue one bit. Instead, I'd like to express that I, too, share in that same objective- this was an awful thing, and let's do what we can to learn and prevent any future occurrences.

However- before talking about how to best move forward in a healthy, productive direction for all... it does appear there are some conflicts in what you have said, which I'm quoting below, and adding underlines to the parts needing attention:

ziggyc wrote: The pilot, Nancy Tachibana, who had an H1 rating and nearly 30 tows over the past few months, was well versed in the activity and the how and when to use the quick release. There are substantial videos that show she was not only comfortable doing this, but she new what to do, and when to do it.

ziggyc wrote: The fact is, there's a split amongst the hang gliding community over whether this is a "safe" activity for an H1 pilot or not. Hey, nothing in the air is safe. Or, rather, it's as safe as we are willing to make for ourselves and for each other.

ziggyc wrote: And she also knew the risks, that actually added to the fun (as it does for many of you.) From what I've been told, and seen in videos, there are two safety releases in a tow. One of them is operated by the pilot. Should that safety release fail, then there is a backup which is supposed to be a fail safe. Neither of these releases functioned on Nancy's fourth flight on April 3rd, 2016. They had not been thoroughly checked, just presumed to be working. That's the job not only of the pilot, but also, more importantly, the job of the instructor, who is the last line of protection for his students. He failed. He allowed the equipment to fail.

I quoted most of the paragraphs rather than just extracting the highlighted lines, to maintain context of your words.

In summary of what you said:
    * She knew what she was doing and how to do it
    * She knew safety was her responsibility
    * She knew the risks and willingly accepted them


Then you posit that the release(s) failed because they went unchecked. I have no information regarding this accident, so I will abstain from any speculation whether this is true or not... or if the accident was even related to a hardware malfunction in the tow release. Since your conclusion was drawn from these statements- let's assume they are accurate...

Your concluding statement "he failed"- referring to the instructor- that really seems to jump beyond what your statements support. If we're accepting what you said about the release not functioning, and the cause being failure to check it, please recognize that this is first and foremost the responsibility of the pilot to check and test. By your own statements, this pilot knew this, as well as what the consequences could be of failing to satisfy the responsibility to maintain her own safety. I agree that in the learning environment a large part of an instructor's responsibility is to provide double-duty in these responsibilities.

Your conclusion that "he failed" is not false; but it is highly incomplete. SHE failed, too. And I find it pretty hard to place blame on one individual's failure when the other individual committed the *exact same failure* for themselves (the individual with the most to lose, and greatest incentive not to fail).

ziggyc wrote:
The instructional group, Mission Soaring Center used faulty, unchecked equipment, and ended up killing a perfectly talented and well-taught pilot.
You are accusing a group of humans of killing another human. Did you intend to throw a murder/manslaughter accusation out there? How could they have possibly killed a "perfectly talented and well-taught pilot", unless she messed up and didn't check her own release? And if she did forget- couldn't you actually say she killed HERSELF?! (I do apologize, and realize how hard that will be for you to hear/realize/accept). But blaming others for the pilot's own oversight of their responsibilities is pretty hard for the rest of us to hear, too...
ziggyc wrote: And now they and the USHPA continue to cover it up. Witnesses who were actually there, and there were at least 4 or 5 who saw what happened, have remained mum (or have been instructed to not say anything) about the whole incident.
If the pilot messed up, and her death resulted... what is there to cover up? And... what is there left to talk about??? Going only off of the information YOU have provided, and granting the assumption it is all entirely accurate, you know what caused the fatal accident. You know who could have, should have, caught it before she launched. You know that she was well aware and accepting of that responsibility, too.

You ended your post on this note- and so I'll do the same:
ziggyc wrote:
I wouldn't wish this kind of tragedy on anyone else. But I do hope that the community pulls together and talks about this, aims the sharp finger of responsibility (and blame), and fixes the problem
Some may regard it as semantics, but there is a difference between fault and blame. While the fault in this tragedy may be shared, ultimately the responsibility of keeping the pilot safe, falls wholly on the pilot. If you were making accusations that she was poorly trained, or not made away of her responsibilities, this may (perhaps) be a different conversation. But you state loud and clear how educated and competent she was. You want to place blame- look no further than human error. It is tough to blame the loss of a human life on the mere fact that they were human... but that is what YOU are saying with the information provided.

The very last thing you say is about fixing the problem. We do not agree on what that problem is. The problem I see, is that those of us left in the wake of great tragedy, are compelled to search for understanding of why and how this could happen. We feel pain, and anger, over our loss... and putting the responsibility of making us feel this way unto the deceased is grotesquely unthinkable (believe me, I get it, truly!). And so- a world is created where information regarding even the simplest of errors often does not flow freely, for fear of litigation. Just here you have accused people of murder/mansaughter, albeit not in those words. Is it entirely unreasonable that might frighten people away from sharing with you?

We have a problem, here in the U.S.- where people can sign a waiver acknowledging and accepting risks, and yet still turn around and file a lawsuit. Regardless of how likely to win that suit may be, it requires legal defense, and that is freaking expensive. And in this case, the party that signed that acknowledgement and acceptance has tragically passed, and so now we are left with a loved one looking for who to blame... and that anger spills over toward USHPA, toward Mitch as the ACCIDENT investigator (it was an ACCIDENT!).

So- how do we fix the problems of having to be so reserved with talking about these things? I'll propose- don't go around saying so-and-so group KILLED her... and talking about the sharp finger of blame and it's need to point somewhere anywhere other than the person who has already paid the ultimate price for their mistake...

Respectfully,

Ryan Voight
_________________
Gone flying.

Incident Reports :: RE: Tandem Accident Europe

19 August, 2016 - 17:03
Author: Erik Boehm
Posted: Fri Aug 19, 2016 9:03 am (GMT -8)

Details I heard were that this happened at about 50 meters elevation, so I'm guessing it was on final, and it was likely a legloops issue.

On my harness, its almost impossible to put on without one leg loop being put on. I wonder if this should be a standard deign.

It opens on the left side, and the left leg loop goes from the back of the harness to the front. When you close the zipper and do the clips on the side, you also bring the left legt strap from behind your leg to around it. You have to step your right leg over the strap to even put it on (unless had the leg loop so loose that you could fit two legs through one leg loop). Its no guarantee that the right leg loop is actually around your leg, but it does force you to focus where you put your legs as you put it on, and I can't imagine being able to even get it on without your left legloop being secured.

Hang gliding general :: RE: FAA Addresses Drones Part 107

19 August, 2016 - 16:44
Author: brian scharp
Posted: Fri Aug 19, 2016 8:44 am (GMT -8)

jimmygoat wrote: I don't think drones in the sky and hang gliding are a good mix.
Just stay above 400 feet and you should be fine.

Hang gliding general :: Going to be in the reno area Tuesday evening

19 August, 2016 - 16:40
Author: Jason
Subject: Going to be in the reno area Tuesday evening
Posted: Fri Aug 19, 2016 8:40 am (GMT -8)

Any chance of flying? I am flying into Reno in the morning, August 23, going to be working in Loyalton, until about 2 or so, then will be free the rest of the day. I will have a rental car, So if the road is realatively smooth i can do retrieves and things.
_________________
TSA, NSA Sieg Heil! (HAIL VICTORY)

Hang gliding general :: Advice for flying Ager, Spain

19 August, 2016 - 16:33
Author: Bouyo
Subject: Advice for flying Ager, Spain
Posted: Fri Aug 19, 2016 8:33 am (GMT -8)

Hi there, I'm headed to Spain for 10 days in October (9/30-10/10) and would love to try and get a day or two of flying in. I won't have a wing with me, but I've seen a number of people on the forum posting videos of flying, and there seemed to be options for the traveler ...

Does anyone have any current info about a school or club in Ager (or Northern Spain) I could connect with? I'd even settle for a PG tandem I'm that desperate

Thanks for any info you can provide!

Incident Reports :: RE: Fatal HG crash in Tres Pinos CA 4-3-2016

19 August, 2016 - 16:08
Author: DBrose
Posted: Fri Aug 19, 2016 8:08 am (GMT -8)

Maybe YouTube can help. https://youtu.be/fkdAxW6PNVQ your questions require very long answers.
_________________
Flying is for the birds

Hang gliding general :: RE: Got O2?

19 August, 2016 - 15:44
Author: Helix3
Subject: Oximizer + Pulse Delivery System
Posted: Fri Aug 19, 2016 7:44 am (GMT -8)

Can an Oximizer be used with an O2 pulse delivery system like the Mt High + Bonsai? Or is a regular nasal cannula recommended?

+ Seeking an 870-thread-to-540-thread adaptor to borrow from a Bay Area pilot for an hour in exchange for a 6-pack of beer.

Thank you for your time.

Incident Reports :: RE: Fatal HG crash in Tres Pinos CA 4-3-2016

19 August, 2016 - 15:31
Author: hgflyer
Posted: Fri Aug 19, 2016 7:31 am (GMT -8)

Erik Boehm wrote: This is a thread about a fatal accident, I suggest you take criticism of denis pagen, or local politics to another thread unless you have specific non-speculative information that is linked to it.

I'm sure "Hold it hold it hold it FLARE" and "Run, Flare" have nothing to do with this towing accident.

If Run, Flare is all a ushpa certified instructor is teaching? Without going into detail as far as how to Run, how to keep the wing in control, how to slow down a wing, how to stop a wing. Without all of the details that go into being in complete control of a wing? And just saying FLARE! Is exactly the problem.

So let me ask you this Erik. How exactly do you Flare a hg wing?

How exactly do you launch a wing? Hillside vs. tow launch?

How exactly do you teach new pilots on a high powered tow system, not to lock out?
_________________
The sky is no longer the limit! Only our imaginations will be our limit!

And yet! We find nothing more than IRONY clouding the TRUTH.

Incident Reports :: RE: Fatal HG crash in Tres Pinos CA 4-3-2016

19 August, 2016 - 15:25
Author: hgflyer
Posted: Fri Aug 19, 2016 7:25 am (GMT -8)

Making sure student pilots are prepared properly? Is exactly the subject I am and have been referring to. Knowing how to control a hg wing is what prevents mistakes made by pilots. Putting new pilots on a high powered tow system with minimal launching and landing skills. Is always a recipe for disaster.
_________________
The sky is no longer the limit! Only our imaginations will be our limit!

And yet! We find nothing more than IRONY clouding the TRUTH.

Incident Reports :: RE: Fatal HG crash in Tres Pinos CA 4-3-2016

19 August, 2016 - 15:18
Author: Erik Boehm
Posted: Fri Aug 19, 2016 7:18 am (GMT -8)

This is a thread about a fatal accident, I suggest you take criticism of denis pagen, or local politics to another thread unless you have specific non-speculative information that is linked to it.

I'm sure "Hold it hold it hold it FLARE" and "Run, Flare" have nothing to do with this towing accident.

Incident Reports :: RE: Fatal HG crash in Tres Pinos CA 4-3-2016

19 August, 2016 - 15:13
Author: hgflyer
Posted: Fri Aug 19, 2016 7:13 am (GMT -8)

Hey Darbb, if you have a specific question in mind? Ask. I will be more than happy to answer it in detail.
_________________
The sky is no longer the limit! Only our imaginations will be our limit!

And yet! We find nothing more than IRONY clouding the TRUTH.

Hang gliding general :: RE: The Rigids Are Coming...

19 August, 2016 - 02:21
Author: usaairhead
Posted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:21 pm (GMT -8)

Wow I thought it was just the rigid guy I used to fly with !!! I didn't now you had a mustache ???

Thanks

Hang gliding general :: The Rigids Are Coming...

19 August, 2016 - 01:27
Author: andylongvq
Subject: The Rigids Are Coming...
Posted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:27 pm (GMT -8)


Link


- Andy

Hang gliding general :: RE: FAA Addresses Drones Part 107

19 August, 2016 - 01:04
Author: davisstraub
Posted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:04 pm (GMT -8)

I do.

400 feet.
_________________
Davis Straub at the Oz Report

Q&A, Learning to hang glide :: RE: Grapevine vs Bottle-Grip Launch Technique

19 August, 2016 - 01:04
Author: TomGalvin
Posted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:04 pm (GMT -8)

Bottle, grapevine, eagle, whatever. Choose one and learn to do it very well in a variety of conditions, and do not transition your grip until you are clear of the terrain.
_________________
Hummingbird rancher

Incident Reports :: RE: Fatal HG crash in Tres Pinos CA 4-3-2016

19 August, 2016 - 01:00
Author: davisstraub
Posted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:00 pm (GMT -8)

The USHPA has a professional staff. And a professional office. It would appear that you have not investigated the USHPA enough to be aware of this.

Like many if not all amateur sports organizations, it has a volunteer BOD and relies on volunteers for many of its functions. Mitch is a volunteer.

Mitch's investigations are secret and are required to be so for legal reasons. If you have issues with that I suggest taking it up with the USHPA lawyer.

You have not presented any evidence of any of your claims so I can not take any of them as valid given your personal interest in the matter.

I am not a USHPA volunteer nor a member of their BOD, so I am not on the inside, so to speak.

You have made a series of assumptions, which you admit to, which may or may not be the case. It is my understanding that witnesses are free to express themselves. I've had experience with this and this has been the case with any accident that I have been involved with as a witness.

Again you have made a series of assumptions and unprofessional conclusions which are not merited by the evidence presented especially with regard to the USHPA.

No, you are not being nice about it at all.

Again, you are apparently not aware at all of the restrictions that they are required to work under when an investigation is carried out.

https://airs.ushpa.aero/

https://www.ushpa.org/page/accident-analysis
_________________
Davis Straub at the Oz Report

Incident Reports :: RE: Fatal HG crash in Tres Pinos CA 4-3-2016

19 August, 2016 - 00:40
Author: ziggyc
Subject: tragedy at Tres Pinos April 3rd, 2016
Posted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 4:40 pm (GMT -8)

I should add that we called authorities in Hollister, San Benito County, Monterey County. All the local law enforcement and even fire departments. The only info that any of these outfits had was that there was a paramedic dispatched. That they did not conduct an investigation. Also we have the Coroner's report from Monterey County And THEY even had the cause of death wrong. They listed her activity as paragliding, which is not quite accurate.

Also, I appreciate your sympathy and am not intending to throw real heartfelt sympathy back at you in a vindictive way. I do appreciate it.

I have read a lot, made a lot of phone calls, been in touch with all the major players that I am calling out. Actually received correspondence which I won't share online for obvious reasons. but I DO know what I'm talking about.

My accusations about the USHPA may seem irrational to someone who may be on the inside, or who has closer ties than I do. SO I will stand back and say that I am making accusations about USHPA. But I am making them based on my first-hand experience with them. Just as you defend them based on your first-hand experience.