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er.. happy new year.

might not be the most pleasant thing to think about, but good article here or mortality rates vs base of commercial flying.

they also have a sort of ' same as if yer age X' thing.

paramotoring not there - only paragliding, but based on finger in the air death rate in UK I'd put us at somewhere around just over double paragliding over the past 10 years or so.

or to put it another way - we are all like 110 year old in terms of probability of death within the next 1000 hours*

so a bit above sky diving would be my guess.. so only about 5th most dangerous sport- so it's nice to know there's a career path.. though I reckon I might be too old to make it to Formula 1.**

maybe makes u think - or at least internally justify when you do stupid sh1t :-0


* per hour though.. so unless you do 1000 hours a year of flying I reckon you are safe.

**possibly skip the mountain climbing mince altogether tbh and go straight to BASE 😁

Edited by powerlord
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Great data, love the 21 hours and one will die! 

The problem with these stats is, well, they are stats. The probability of death in 1000 hours does not mean your probability of death. It means someone in that spot's prob of death in a 1000 hours. So others could do 999 hours and have no accidents and then you do the silly thing and become the statistic.

Within each sport the figures are averaged. So, for us, if you don't do aerobatics (especially near the ground), don't fly with others (cos they fly into each other), don't fly in strong winds/gusts (collapses), then you are much safer and have eliminated the major causes.

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yup. I agree completely. I suppose same goes for most other sports. most of the risk is from the extremists. there's always the unexpected outliers of course - but it's a fair statement I think to say most of the deaths in UK have been around the stuff you've mentioned (worldwide I'd include drowning).

Maybe it's just me, but even though I bumble around the sky like a Sunday driver, I kinda like the hard ass reputation of doing one of the most dangerous sports on earth.. so don't analyze it too deeply 😉

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9 hours ago, powerlord said:

...even though I bumble around the sky like a Sunday driver,I kinda like the hard ass reputation of doing one of the most dangerous sports on earth..  😉

Bit like joining the local renegade hood but running away when any fight is likely.

I agree about eliminating the major causes.

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active is the key -  and frankly I've no idea.

But I'd punt for something like 500 or so active ppg pilots in the UK or thereabouts (active = fly every month say).

PG wise many will fly abroad, etc too - but it's probably order of magnitude higher ? 2-5000 ?

fatality rate wise though we seem to average out to about 1 a year or so. Whereas PG can go years without one (though they arguably have more non fatal accidents).


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Just looking at the BHPA Incident Reports. Their records appear to start around 2000 and since then they have 45 PG fatalities versus 11 PPG fatalities. I’m sure these records are by no means complete, but they give some idea of the fatality ratio which is why I was curious regarding the ratio between PG and PPG pilots.

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You will find them accurate. PG is considerably more dangerous that PPG. This is a fact which can be acquired by looking through the insurance claims. The reasons are 'mainly' these:

1. Thermic weather 'required'

2. Flying Close the ground (in above conditions) 

3. No height control (lack the ability to gain height on demand and the lack of ability to control height during cross country flights on demand) 

4. High wind speeds at point of take off (I have personally witnessed this at a local hill where a PG pilot was sent back over the hill into Rotor (Via the roof of a posh car) followed by an Air ambulance. (Around 20 other people were gale hanging on speed bars about 50ft off the ground) 

5. Every landing is what we would consider a 'forced landing' (we can go around at the last moment, and better prepare our approach and so on... 

I could go on and on... the bottom line is what is seen to be the situation by the insurance underwriters and they are now well more aware of this than they were 5 years ago when we were seen a PG and the same stats used.

SW :D 

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but 11 vs 45 can only be interpreted if we know how may PPG vs PGers there are.

Anecdotally I do agree PGing is more dangerous (i.e. more chance of injury), but if we are looking just at fatalities and Strange Days figures are correct, it's the number of fliers thats important.

For example if there are 4x as many PGers than PPGers, then the fatality rate is equal per year (ignoring flight frequency).

Also you need to bear in mind that BHPAs reports seem to cover most of europe for PG whereas there's only one PPG fatality registered in there for europe - really would need the EHPU figures ? BHPA seem to cover europe IF the fatality was a BHPA member only ?

There's a fair few variables there and it's possible to easily come out with the answer you want.

But if we keep it simple and go with BHPA figures, without number of PGers vs PPGers we can't make sense of the 11 vs 45.

And of course, in PPG there's a lot of pilots that are not members of BHPA - and either members of alternatives or have no affiliations.

I think it'd be useful to know this sort of stuff, but just not sure the data is readily available to actually make sense of it.

If you look at say, motorcycle fatalities - I'd imagine it's based on % motorcycles vs cars on roads, and fatalities per vehicle, and UK figures would be UK only.

So - a like for like would be % PPG pilots flying in UK vs % PG pilots flying in UK (thought I think even that would be skewed since UK PGers regularly flight abroad whereas UK PPG pilots do not) but it would at least be a UK based fair compare ? 😕

Looking at https://www.bhpa.co.uk/documents/safety/formal_investigations/

I make that 24 PG vs 11 PPG in UK since 2002.

So - I don't know numbers, but if there are more than 2.2x the number of PG fliers in UK, PPG has more fatalities in UK per 100 people per year.

Edited by powerlord
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My methodology was simply to enter the search 'fatal' for both wing types separately on the link below which called up 11 for PPG and 45 for PG.


I dont think these BHPA incident reports are complete to be honest.

Andy Walkden's PPG death (11/04/19) is not listed and nor is Jules Eaton who died during ICARUS (22/06/19). I think its probably safe to assume that if there are PPG deaths missing there will also be PG deaths missing.

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