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Dynamic asymetric collapse at low altitude.

Guest francis777

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http://www.kktv.com/home/headlines/13487637.html# looks like the kind of dynamic asymetric collapse that has led to the dhv re-designing their tests to include a test for "collpase

fold angle". There are quite a few vids out there now, with similar sequences of events; 80%+ collapse followed swiftly by 360 degree turn and dive and unloading of the wing; pilot needing to fall below

the wing which is already beneath her before recovery can begin and`the loss of 300 feet or more.

In paragliding many fatal and serious accidents occur when just such`a collapse happens at low altitude. Paragliders like to fly in the`kind of turbulent air that John seems to have encountered, so are

more at risk of this perhaps. At 250 ft there is (possibly) enough height to deploy a reserve but

certainly not enough to recover this sort of asymetric. I intend no criticism of John Black and wish him a speedy recovery.

Importantly (for me) he does report (see his report below) clarity of thought and a reasoned attempt to recover the wing.

He also reports "....if you were trained well you will remember what you should do and will react accordingly." My own practise is to teach students to monitor their height and, when below 500 feet be prepared to immediately deploy their reserve should they experience a "dynamic asymetric". This is, of course on paragliders. what do PPG trainers teach?

I am John Black the pilot in the PPG crash. I very much appreciated

all of the the emails, post and phone calls I have recieved since

this accident. No matter how much fussing and fighting we may see at

times this shows me the level committment there is to this sport and

each other. I will try and explain from start to finish what

happened as I saw it as in many cases there probably things I could

have done differently and in hind sight would have.

The wing is a Sol Yaris DHV1-2 Large trim was at a third in

The motor is a FB simonini 122 with old style comfort bars that

articulate up and down, hangman harness.

I was wearing a helmet with full face shield.

I was approximately 5 miles east of the front range of the Rockies

on a flat open area. LZ is @ 5800ft ASL

Winds were 5-7 from the south and there were a few snow clouds that

had recently moved thru the area.

I did a reverse into 7 mph south and just watched my wing for about

30 seconds to see if there was anything crazy going on off the

ground and it looked rock solid.

After launching i climbed up to 300ft agl and made a check of my

equiptment and connections. All looked good and I made a downwind

turn and flew back past my windsock. I noticed thaqt since launch

the wind had shifted 90 degrees and was now coming from the west

over the range it was stiff and looked to be 12 or better the sock

was fully inflated and straight out. Something felt wrong in the

wing and I again did my checks I then decided it was in my best

interest to land. I made a a wide left turn and and lined up on my

Lz dropping to around 250ft and was about to kill my engine when it

felt like a trap door opened under me. Both risers fell onto my

hands and the left set tightened up with the brake wrapping my hand

to the throttle holding it to the wide open position. My body was

facing the ground at this point and and in free fall. I had been

working on death spirals the week before and if you have ever done

these it felt like the same sensation but 10 times as intense. My

first thought was Im probably going to bite it here but if i could

get some inflation I might be able to spiral out of this at the

bottom. My right brake was useless no tension and I grabbed for the

d's and pulled hard I got some inflation just before the power lines

they were coming quick and I pulled down hard again to try and miss

them which lucky I did which I did. I glanced the power pole with my

lines which slowed me some but I was still going down in a lying

position. I dont know if it was tension on the lines or the fact my

motor was winding at full power that straightened my body I am

thinking the latter. I hit on the bottom of the cage and my right

side. I think the style of my unit hving the articulating comfort

bars saved my ribs that would have definately been broken in stiff

comfort bars. I couln't breathe good after the crash and had trouble

getting out of the unit because it had crumpled around me. I was

concerned that the wing was on the power lines and didnt want anyone

hurt so I got out and moved away from the unit before collapsing a

few feet away. I stayed concious but was in a lot of pain EMS was

great. In answer to a few questions no this is not a reflex wing,

and yes I was actively search for some feel in the wing to recover.

Where as I agree that this may have been recoverable the fact the

brake wrapped my throttle and went to full changed all dynamics of

this collapse changed. On a positive note I came out extremely sore

and with two vertebra in my lumbar spine fractured. If this keeps

anyone from repeating this type of crash it will be worth it to me

for this to have happened. Also for those of you that have never had

some like this happen if you were trained well you will remember

what you should do and will react accordingly. There really wasn't

any real fear I understood I was in trouble but was more focused on

fixing the problem than a fear of hitting the ground. Again you have

no idea how grateful I am for this flying community...........You

are simply the best! The video is at KKTV.com

Captain John Black


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