AIID Accident Report: 06 June 2019

Extract from the AIID Accident Report 9792 published by AIID on 7 December 2020 (Ref CA18/2/3/9792):

“On Thursday, 6 June 2019 at 1200Z, a paraglider student pilot took off from the mountain site Bulwer 1000 under the radio instruction of the chief flying instructor and take-off instructor. This was the student pilot’s training flight to complete his basic requirements for a paraglider licence. After the student pilot had completed the required manoeuvres, he was handed over to the landing site instructor for the radio instructions to land the paraglider.

During approach for landing, the paraglider entered into a spin which progressed into a spiral. The student pilot was unable to recover from the resultant spiral due to insufficient height. He impacted the slope on approach path to land, adjacent Bulwer reservoir. The accident sequence was recorded on a video camera mounted on the student pilot’s helmet. The video footage revealed that he applied deeper brake input to turn and had limited weight-shift to compensate for the turn. The student pilot also tended to hold on to the risers and had a right brake line wrapped around his hand from the start of the flight, which he corrected later in the flight.

The student pilot was fatally injured whilst the paraglider sustained minor damage during the accident sequence.

The investigation revealed that the accident was likely caused by excessive brake input on approach turn, which resulted in a spin that later progressed into a spiral. The student pilot could not recover from the spiral due to insufficient height.”