Overview of Incidents, Accidents & Fatalities

This summary overview has been compiled by the SAHPA Safety Manager, and is based on Incidents, Accidents and Fatalities reported to the SAHPA Office during the period January 2019 to February 2021.

  • 101 Incidents, Accidents and Fatalities were reported:
    • Incidents (64)
    • Accidents (29)
    • Fatalities (8)

However, many additional incidents and accidents were not formally reported, despite repeated attempts by the SAHPA Office to get further information. Hearsay, gossip, rumours and anecdotes are unreliable sources of information and are therefore excluded from this overview.

Flight Types

  • PG Solo flights (54)
  • TFI (26)
  • Training flights (18)
  • PPG (12)
  • Hang-gliding (7)
  • Foreigners (8)
  • Tandem (2)


Incidents, Accidents and Fatalities were spread across the following provinces:

  • Western Cape (54)
  • Southern Cape (25)
  • Gauteng (10)
  • Mpumalanga (3)
  • Eastern Cape (2)
  • Kwazulu/Natal (2)
  • Other (5)


  • TFI events occur predominantly at Signal Hill, Lion’s Head and Sedgefield.
  • Foreigners account for 5 out of 8 fatalities
  • Leading contributing causes of accidents, as submitted by pilots:
    • Thermal disturbance
    • Strong wind
    • Overconfidence
    • Inexperience


While there may be learnings from each individual event, the meaningful insight comes from examining the aggregate data to identify trends, and to propose systemic improvements.

Note: some members have pointed out errors in the data. This is due to the quality of data being submitted by members. While there may be occasional errors with dates, the incident statistics are correct.

Should you want to Slice & Dice the data yourself, you may download the data in CSV format. A concise version of the data is presented in this table:

8/1/2019Signal HillWind / Thermal11:301
10/1/2019Signal HillNo lift - slope land9:311
11/1/2019Sun City landing fieldWind / Thermal, Inexperience11:001
14/1/2019SedgefieldPilot froze15:001
4/2/2019KleinkrantzAvoid collision14:001
14/2/2019Map of AfricaInexperience, Collision , New pilot error12:301
14/2/2019Map of AfricaInexperience, Collision , Spin, Confused12:301
17/2/2019Signal HillHeavy pax sitting before take off10:301
22/2/2019Signal HillAvoid collision1
25/2/2019PampoenfonteinWind/Thermal, Stall, Lee Rotor12:081
27/2/2019PampoenfonteinWind / Thermal11:301
28/2/2019Beach hotelNegative spin11:001
5/3/2019Signal HillRigging error10:001
31/3/2019SedgefieldConfused, Over confidence12:241
18/5/2019Shumba airflieldsudden change in wind - 3rd party glider damage9:401
24/5/2019Signal HillWind / Thermal15:301
26/5/2019Glen Eden, East LondonEquipment failure13:101
6/6/2019Bulwer 1000 landingInexperience/ Over confident14:001
18/6/2019God's WindowWind/Thermal10:44
26/6/2019SedgefieldWind / Themal, Overconfidence12:151
7/7/2019Signal HillWind / Thermal14:001
27/7/2019Signal HillPax Tripped/ satu just before take off14:001
28/7/2019Unregistered site 10km west of Thabazimbi (Mountain launch)Inexperience12:001
3/8/2019Signal HillOther14:001
10/8/2019Sir Lowrys passWind / Thermal13:501
15/8/2019Signal HillPAX foot hooked on takeoff net13:001
15/8/2019RondenbossiebergWind/ thermal, Stall, Filot froze, Overconfidence, inexp, carelessness17:401
19/8/2019NoordhoekHother - horses on landing16:001
25/8/2019Hartebeespoort damInexperience7:301
25/8/2019The bayWind / Thermal13:351
11/9/2019Signal HillWind / Thermal, strong wind12:001
28/9/2019Motor and glider caught alight7:501
3/10/2019FranschoekWind / Thermal, Inexperience9:301
6/10/2019Dasklip launchInexperience15:001
14/10/2019Lion's HeadWind / Thermal, strong wind13:001
14/10/2019Lion's HeadStrong wind13:001
16/12/2019Dasklip launchRigging error, Overconfidence, Carelessness13:301
25/12/2019Signal HillStrong wind16:301
4/1/2020Cors-airWind / Thermal, lee Rotor, Overconfidence, Rigging error5:301
7/1/2020Signal HillWind / Thermal11:101
9/1/2020BenchWind / Thermal disturbance12:001
12/1/2020UilkraalWind / Thermal, strong wind12:261
24/1/2020Sedge viewWind / Thermal, Inexperience15:001
25/1/2020Signal HillWind/thermal Disturbance10:301
30/1/2020Buffalo bayStrong wind, Inexperience9:0011
4/2/2020Signal HillSemi fog landing12:301
4/2/2020Map & Sedge4 tree landings11:001
8/2/2020SeapointWind/ Thermal, strong wind13:301
13/2/2020Signal HillWind / Thermal11:001
15/2/2020Signal HillEquipment failure13:301
29/2/2020Map of AfricaStrong Wind12:001
1/3/2020Table mountain EMP6Wind/Thermal disturbance15:531
7/3/2020SedgefieldLee Rotor12:001
8/3/2020BambiWind/ Thermal, Pilot froze/ confused, Inexp, carelessness16:301
10/3/2020The bayNot an incident - Pilot was not in airspace14:351
6/6/2020Hartebeespoort damInexperience14:001
20/6/2020Eagles Nest, RustenburgWind / thermal, Inexperience14:001
21/7/2020Du Toits KloofWind / Thermal disturbance/ Inexperience16:301
25/7/2020Dolphin BeachWind / Thermal, Stall, Inexperience16:551
26/7/2020MaanhaarrantFlyin during covid10:001
27/7/2020Map of AfricaInexperience10:301
2/8/2020Sea pointStrong wind / Thermal, Strong wind13:301
10/8/2020GrasslandsPilot froze/ overconfidence16:001
13/8/2020Holliday innStall13:001
14/8/2020UplandsWind / Thermal12:431
14/8/2020MdumbiWind/ Thermal, strong wind,Lee Rotor15:301
21/8/2020Jakakalsputz (Henties baai)Wind / Thermal, Strong wind9:00
23/8/2020FranschoekWind / Thermal12:201
3/9/2020Signal HillWind / Thermal disturbance13:301
6/9/2020PiketbergWind/Thermal disturbance12:371
15/9/2020Signal HillTop landed on Signal hill13:301
18/9/2020Signal HillCarelessness14:011
22/9/2020SedgeviewOverconfidence, Inexperience12:301
24/9/2020CosAirPilot froze6:301
17/10/2020PortervilleWind / Thermal disturbance, Inexperience, Carelessness12:001
23/10/2020Signal hillWind/Thermal disturbance12:101
9/11/2020Jacques-Paradise ridgeStall, Inexperience17:231
14/11/2020Eagles nest west launchWind/Thermal disturbance15:001
17/12/2020Grasslands Flying ClubInexperience7:001
18/12/2020Signal hillWind/Thermal disturbance10:001
23/12/2020Lions's HeadLee rotor, overconfidence, carelessness12:001
23/12/2020Lion's Headwind12:001
24/12/2020SedgeviewWind/Thermal disturbance12:151
29/12/2020Sedefieldavoid collision, overconfidence, carelessnes12:001
1/1/2021Kleinkrantz Car ParkWind/Thermal disturbance12:481
3/1/2021Signal hillWind/Thermal disturbance17:001
6/1/2021Du Toits KloofWind/Thermal disturbance11:501
16/1/2021Lion's HeadOverconfidence15:301
17/1/2021PortervilleOverconfidence Carelessness /Thermal disturbance11:531


The process to report an Incident, Accident or Fatality remains the same:

The SAHPA Team