Personal Journals about Hang Gliding

Re: Other dangerous sports news

Postby JoeF » Fri Oct 19, 2018 9:25 pm

Rick Masters wrote:Same idiot, wrong venue. They beat the crap out of him. He's dead.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Miller_(parachutist)
He is dead, but not from the beating at the boxing ring; years later: suicide.
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Re: Other dangerous sports news

Postby Rick Masters » Wed Oct 24, 2018 7:38 pm

Paragliding        October 24, 2018
Will bodies of soaring parachutists litter the terrain of the World Cup?
ImageImage
The body of Asian Paragliding Games organizer Ng Kok Choong of Singapore is unloaded from an Indian Search and Rescue helicopter on Tuesday.
Choong's body was spotted unexpectedly during a search for a Spanish soaring parachutist who went missing a few days earlier.         :o
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Re: Other dangerous sports news

Postby Rick Masters » Thu Oct 25, 2018 6:23 am

Paragliding        October 25, 2018
ImageImage
Australian soaring parachutist Sanjay KR Devarkonda has been found dead near Bir Billing, India, following a 6-hour helicopter search on Wedensday.
This follows closely the discovery of the body of Asain Paragliding Games organizer Ng Kok Choong on Tuesday.

"The incident is the third such case of death in the month and second in the week... A number of foreign and domestic paragliders have swarmed the valley in the run-up to the Paragliding Pre-World Cup to be held in Bir Billing from [Octoberber 27]. Over 160 paragliders are expected to turn up for the three-day event."
https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/nri-paraglider-from-australia-sanjay-kr-devarkonda-dies-in-himachal-pradesh-after-crash-1937485

"A Spanish pilot, Jos Lewis, had crashed in the hills but was rescued. Two other pilots, including a Russian, and Latavian had also sustained injuries in crashes while paragliding."
https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/nri-dies-after-he-crashes-while-paragliding-in-mandi/673568.html

-- FLASH -- October 25, 2018
Hang Gliding and Paragliding Have Now Been Banned in Bir Billing
With 170 competitors ready for the Pre-Worlds Paragliding Cup scheduled to begin this weekend, India has banned free-flying from Bir Billing.
"Following the spate of accidents involving free flying paragliders in Bir Billing, Deputy Commissioner [of the Kangra District] Sandeep Kumar has banned free flying in Bir Billing till further orders. In an order issued today evening, the deputy commissioner has directed SDM Baijnath not to allow free flying in Bir Billing till he was satisfied regarding the security of free fliers."
https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/nri-dies-after-he-crashes-while-paragliding-in-mandi/673568.html

I hope all those soaring parachutists in Bir Billing enjoy their parawaiting vacation in India.         :lol:
I guess India was running out of rescue helicopters!

Speaking of Asia - A flash from the past:
Paragliding debate after tragedy by Sophie Hui and Stella Wong, Hong Kong Standard, July 30, 2018
http://www.thestandard.com.hk/section-news.php?id=198414
An experienced hang glider pilot who analyzes global statistics of paragliding accidents has warned of the hidden dangers of the sport. In an interview with The Standard, Rick Masters, a former hang glider pilot and independent researcher on free flight aircraft in America, described Patrick Chung Yuk-wa's death as unfortunate. Forty-year-old Chung went missing on July 22 and was found dead on Friday after hundreds of searchers combed Lantau, by helicopter, on foot and in boats. He was found near Sunset Peak, also known as Tai Tung Shan, about a kilometer northeast of where he had taken off. The cause and the time of his death are still not known pending a postmortem.
    Masters said of Chung: "He was flying a paraglider in storm turbulence, as evidenced by the others who crashed in the gust front. It was an unfortunate situation as he probably did not choose to launch into these turbulent conditions but was caught by turbulence. And unfortunately he was flying a paraglider - the least capable of all aircraft in turbulence."
    He said Chung was the 1,714th person to die in a paraglider incident since 1986.
    ...Masters also said paragliding inland is more dangerous than flying off a coast due to the thermal turbulence.
    "The appropriate aircraft for flying in inland thermal turbulence is a hang glider, which cannot collapse," he said.
Rick Masters: Dangerous Thoughts    USHGA #30816  EAA #1269264     US Hang Gliding Rating System
A lot of foolish people think they're hang gliding with parachutes - but nobody ever thinks they're parachuting with hang gliders.
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Re: Other dangerous sports news

Postby Rick Masters » Sat Oct 27, 2018 5:46 am

Paragliding in SLC        Don't fly HGs under them!         :o

Point of the Mountain    October 26, 2018
Lehi Fire Battalion Chief Jake Beck said such rescues occur six to eight times a year. -- KSL
https://media.ksl.com/1540598030-1581144575.mp4

Point of the Mountain    October 16, 2018
https://fox13now.com/2018/10/16/paraglider-hospitalized-after-hard-landing-near-point-of-the-mountain/

SLC foothills    October 14, 2018
“As soon as I looked out of the corner of my eye I saw his chute just completely fold up.” -- KSL
https://www.gofundme.com/help-nolan-walk-paragliding-fall?member=929654

SLC foothills    April 6, 2018
https://media.ksl.com/1523019723-2117817637.mp4

SLC County    March 28, 2018
"Witnesses said they saw part of the glider's wing collapse before it dropped about 200 feet to the ground, partially opened." -- KSL
https://media.ksl.com/1522297217-2034505731.mp4

Archive
http://bjanzen.yolasite.com/PG-Accidents.php
Rick Masters: Dangerous Thoughts    USHGA #30816  EAA #1269264     US Hang Gliding Rating System
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Re: Other dangerous sports news

Postby Rick Masters » Sat Oct 27, 2018 11:59 am

Paragliding
I sent a note to India asking that if they banned paragliding in Himachal Pradesh, how was anyone going to know how dangerous paragliding was?
Then, drum roll:
______________________________________________________________________
-- FLASH -- October 25, 2018
Hang Gliding and Paragliding Have Now Been Un-Banned in Bir Billing         :roll:
https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/shimla/paragliding-ban-lifted-after-security-review/articleshow/66385218.cms
______________________________________________________________________

I love paragliding competitions. Really, I do.
I especially love all the helicopters. How do they stay up like that?
Wup wup wup!         :wtf:


"Well, done, Hawks! Well done!"         :shock:

PG comps are like a NASCAR Talladega Race where the driver rides on the hood
and instead of safer barriers they have open coffins to drop into.         :o :shock: :think:

In Himachal Pradesh, the paragliders found a way to not use so many expensive helicopters.
:idea:         They've got a powered paraglider standing by!
"Hey, look! That guy just had a collapse in extreme turbulence. Let's go look for him!"
"Okay. I'll get the powered paraglider!"         :shock:
Here's your sign.
http://www.geocities.ws/musicmania/COMEDY/Bill%20Engvall/Here's%20Your%20Sign/05%20-%20Here's%20Your%20Sign.mp3

Why did the Indians un-ban paragliders? Somebody told them paragliding "experts had reached the conclusion that due to heavy monsoon in the region this year, there was high moisture content in air. Due to high moisture content the paragliders did not get thermals (thermals are currents of warm air that give buoyancy of paragliders to go up further) that led to accidents."
Heavy rains to blame
High moisture content in the air (due to heavy monsoon)
No thermals (currents of warm air that give buoyancy to paragliders to go up further )
https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/himachal/moisture-lack-of-thermals-led-to-paragliding-mishaps/674198.html

So... No thermals leads to paragliding accidents?
They don't just glide down and land? Like at the beach?
Well, humidity is expected to be 100% for the next few days.
They've told all the freefliers to avoid the big mountains.
I wonder, how do you get to the big mountains in the first place with no thermals?
This is giving this old soaring pilot a brain overload.
My reaction: :srofl: :srofl: :srofl:     Caution: "Geniuses" at work.
And I continue to believe that thermals are created by uneven heating of the air in the afternoon, especially on sunlit granite walls, regardless of humidity,
and that a big factor is the temperature change with altitude.
Maybe it will cloud over and they'll get lift from cloud suck.
Major Himalayan cloud suck. That should be interesting.
Especially in suicidal "aircraft" without pitch control, reflex in turbulence or any negative loading.         :o

The competition, with 170 soaring parachutists, starts today. Stay tuned. This has all the ingrediants of a major fubar.
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Re: Other dangerous sports news

Postby Rick Masters » Tue Oct 30, 2018 4:01 am

Hiking        October 27, 2018
Image
Speaking of Indians falling from the sky...
The Indian couple fell from Taft Point in Yosemite, the same location from which Dean Potter and Graham Hunt made their fatal wingsuit jumps in May of 2015.
https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/diaspora/indian-couple-dies-after-falling-800-feet-in-california-national-park/676035.html
Rick Masters: Dangerous Thoughts    USHGA #30816  EAA #1269264     US Hang Gliding Rating System
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Re: Other dangerous sports news

Postby Rick Masters » Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:35 pm

Paragliding        Indian Pre-Worlds in Himachal Pradesh

So what is happening in the Indian paragliding competitions?
The whole thing is really screwy so nothing is actually unusual.
First, strong winds caught a bunch of paragliders in the air a week before the competitions began.
Two men were killed, two were injured and one was missing for several days.
This was a reflection of multiple fatalities in previous paragliding comps in India.
The government has stopped or delayed the yearly comps many, many times since 2004, out of concern for bad press.
But paragliding has grown so popular AND SO LUCRATIVE that it is no longer possible to cancel the events.
So after the temporary banning of paragliding at Billing immediately after the recent deaths, they decided the Indian Army would be brought in with helicopters.
No kidding. Can you imagine that in the USA?         :shock:
The deaths were blamed on humidity, a ridiculous claim.
The deaths were actually due to the lack of penetration of paragliders in winds survivable for a hang glder - but also for their propensity for collapse in turbulence.
What could be done?
First, the competition was nearly halved from the inital 170 registered pilots to about 90.
Then, since turbulence is stronger at higher altitudes, the tasks were designed as baby tasks, routed out in front of the mountains in the lower foothills.
On October 28, they held the first task: a baby task out-and return of two 20 mile legs.
https://airtribune.com/play/3806/2d
After this grueling event, contestents were given a rest day on October 29.
Yawn.         :yawn:

Image
Rick Masters mounts maps of XC routes on the freshly-painted wall of the XC Pilots Association headquarters
in Independence in 1983. Mike Grisham is at center.


Compare this to my open distance call of the Don Partridge Memorial Open in 1985 - 35 years ago! - where Rick Rawlings flew a hang glider 198 miles in an open distance task from Walt's Point in Owens Valley to central Nevada.
That was a competition that meant something.
It was momentous!
You needed big mountains and big mountain thermals to do that kind of thing in those years.

Anyway, on October 30, 2018, the task for the Indian paragliders was a "gigantic" 28 miles over the Himalayan foothills.
Yawn.         :yawn:
I'm so glad I was in the in Owens Valley in those early years of big XC, where brave men braved real turbulence on robust and capable aircraft with airframes to fly those great distances into unknown terrain.
That took guts.
But today, paragliding comps have been dumbed down so much that they are now painful to watch.
So slow! So short. So meaningless.         :yawn:
Why do people think they're interesting?
They're not.         :thumbdown:
Rick Masters: Dangerous Thoughts    USHGA #30816  EAA #1269264     US Hang Gliding Rating System
A lot of foolish people think they're hang gliding with parachutes - but nobody ever thinks they're parachuting with hang gliders.
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Re: Other dangerous sports news

Postby Frank Colver » Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:52 pm

In school I remember learning about the great westward migration during the gold rush days. I remember that an oxen pulling a heavy wagon could average 15 miles per day, crossing the plains.

So, the paraglider pro-competition is asking these expert airmen and women to try and do a little better distance than an ox pulling a wagon in 1849?

Wow!

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Re: Other dangerous sports news

Postby Rick Masters » Fri Nov 02, 2018 1:58 am

You will no doubt be impressed to know that Thursday's Indian Open 2018 paragliding race was an earthshattering 18.6 miles.
https://airtribune.com/play/3810/2d
That beats your oxen, Frank!
And it proves that paragliding is safe in the Himalayas!

What I love about racing paragliders is that the faster you go, the closer your paraglider is to frontal collapse.
Some real genius thought that that one up!        
https://xcmag.com/news/tragedy-hits-paragliding-world-championships-2011/
Sigh, I miss the R11s. :twisted:
https://xcmag.com/news/paragliding-world-championships-2011-mads-leaves/

After the two deaths just prior to the Indian contest, and several injuries and lost soaring parachutists,
the Dah mountain division of 39 Corps of the Indian Army was called in to help.
"It's come as a big relief," said the head of the organizing committee after the district banned paragliding until it was made safe.
https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/shimla/paragliding-meet-army-roped-in-after-2-deaths/articleshow/66396845.cms
The Army probably got tired of chasing Pakastani terrorists and wanted to do something more relevant. Ya think?
I bet they designed the tasks after they whittled down the contestants from 170 to 90-something.
Hey! A paragliding race with 90 paragliders is almost twice as safe as one with 170 paragliders.
Leave it to the military for strategic thinking!
Wait until they figure out that a 9-mile paragliding race is twice as safe as an 18-mile race!
Oh... They already did? I think they're on to something...         :wtf:
Rick Masters: Dangerous Thoughts    USHGA #30816  EAA #1269264     US Hang Gliding Rating System
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Re: Other dangerous sports news

Postby Rick Masters » Fri Nov 02, 2018 12:29 pm

Wait until they figure out that a 9-mile paragliding race is twice as safe as an 18-mile race!
Oh... They already did? I think they're on to something...


So, after 5 days of competition the crowd has flown a total of 136 miles.
Pretty risky. Bet they got some great pictures, though.
It turns out the Indian military is even smarter than I thought.
They must have run my numbers progression, and when they got to zero miles,
they found a result that made paragliding perfectly safe.
They cancelled the Friday task!
Genius!

Good thing they took a rest day on the second day of competition to practice for this cancelled day!         :shock:
That rest day, after the first big contest day of 43 miles, no doubt helped the competitors recuperate for the next big 28 mile day.
And thankfully, the cancelled day comes on the heels of the stupendous 18-mile task the day before day that was no doubt extremely grueling.
Only in the Himalayas could you hold immense tasks of this caliber!         :shock:
Meanwhile, Frank's oxen have completed 75 miles at 15 miles per day.
Will they make the podium?         :think:

Actually, the event got rained out.
As a hang glider pilot, I just can't resist poking fun at such inadequate and dangerous "aircraft."
Paragliders fall out of the sky in the rain, you know. Not just in turbulence.
Really. https://xcmag.com/magazine-articles/paragliding-techniques-paramotoring-skills/really-shouldnt-fly-paraglider-rain/
FRI 11/02
HIGH 69 F
90% Precip. / 0.41 in
Thunderstorms.
Winds ENE at 5 to 10 mph.
They can still screw it up, though, so stay tuned.
Rick Masters: Dangerous Thoughts    USHGA #30816  EAA #1269264     US Hang Gliding Rating System
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