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Sep 05, 2006, 10:10 AM
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RC plane knocks manned paraglider out of sky at Point of Mountain

Last edited by jbeanelliott; Jun 20, 2014 at 08:08 AM.
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Sep 05, 2006, 12:11 PM
Pompano Hill Flyer
egras14's Avatar
One thing for sure it will open a can of worms for the RC people who fly there.
Sep 05, 2006, 03:14 PM
Intermediate Multi
Trisquire's Avatar
At Torrey Pines the paraglider guys blow whistles to let the RC guys know they're passing through. I don't know if that would have helped in this instance.

Sep 05, 2006, 03:35 PM
Registered User
Neil Stainton's Avatar
I don't think a 21" glider would have had enough energy to fold a paraglider. I guess the model was bigger and/or powered.

Sep 05, 2006, 04:05 PM
Texas Ranger
Neil Walker's Avatar
I was thinking maybe pylon racer... can't think of anything else 21" that would have enough energy.
Sep 05, 2006, 06:54 PM
Registered User
Never mind, not worth commenting on.
Last edited by Liberator; Sep 05, 2006 at 07:12 PM.
Sep 06, 2006, 07:30 AM
Registered User's Avatar
A few years back, I was flying my Bridgeman Snipe at Jockey Ridge Park, Outer Banks, NC. There were hang glider lessons being given way off to my right. These guys just go straight down the hill, never across it. I was flying off to my left when a hang glider came from my right. I didn't see him untill we were head to head. I hit the kite in the leading edge. My glider spun into the sand, no damage. The inpact caused him to turn 90 degrees and head down the hill. He was about 10 feet off the ground when he stalled it. It knocked the wind out of him but no damage. He later apologized. It was a scary moment! If you've never seen a Snipe, it's a f/g wingeron that flies fast! If I had hit the guy instead of the kite, who knows what would have happened. I still fly the Snipe, I wonder if I gave him second thoughts about hang gliding.
Sep 06, 2006, 12:57 PM
Russ Young
isoarthenland's Avatar
I was flying my 2m DG800s a couple of hundred feet out from the slope when the 21" slope PSS plane hit the shrouds about 2 feet down from the canopy. The slope plane was not going fast at all. It tangled in the shrouds and the slope side canopy buckled. There were probably 15 slope planes in the air, and maybe 3 paragliders. All other paragliders launched and turned right to keep away from the slope planes. This fellow launched and turned left into the crowd of slopers.

We were all fortunate that he suffered minor bruises. After discussions with the paraglider spokesperson and the slope spokesperson, it was agreed that for the remainder of the slope event (which was announced to the paraglider club months and weeks in advance) that the paragliders would stay to one side of the slope and the slopers to the other...which normally happens anyway.
Sep 06, 2006, 01:20 PM
Tom H.
Perhaps I can shed some light on this subject to avoid wild speculation.

Our club just finished up Soar Utah on Labor Day and I was the CD for the event. The evening before the event started, I was on my way to the south side of the Point of the Mountain (other side of the hill) for a dinner to welcome the pilots attending Soar Utah.

We got a call from a member on the north side that indeed an R/C plane had tangled with a paraglider and the paraglider pilot was hurt. We rushed over to the north side to find a dozen emergency vehicles, life-flight helicopter, FOX news, and a ton of people.

Not only was I the contest director, but I am also the club president, so I was immediately thrust into the melee. I tried to collect as many facts as possible while speaking with the hang gliding club officers, their legal counsel, the police, and emergency services.

The plane was a 48" PSS (composite construction) flown by one of the pilots who had traveled half way across the US to come to Soar Utah. I was told that the paraglider pilot was struggling with some canopy inflation problems immediately after he launched one hundered feet to the east of a group of R/C planes that were already in the air.

Apparently, the paraglider pilot made a hard left turn into the group of planes and the R/C pilot in question attempted to avoid the paraglider's canopy, but his model contacted the shroud lines that led to further deflation of the canopy. The hill is quite steep below this incident and the paraglider pilot and canopy fell approximately 25' - 40' onto the side of the hill, minimizing impact.

The paraglider pilot was airlifted to the hospital but was released about an hour or two later, according to the television station reporter who had covered the incident (she had returned to cover Soar Utah the next day). The police determined that there was no fault.

The hang gliding club's officers and legal counsel were very level-headed. We collectively worked out a plan to provide further separation during the events between the paragliders and the R/C planes. In the past Soar Utahs, the paragliders and hang glider pilots have stayed away from the hill during the event on Labor Day weekend.

The new hang gliding club president was not aware of Soar Utah even though we had notified them as usual. Consequently they had also scheduled an event at the Point, although much smaller in scale.

As an R/C pilot, former hang glider pilot, full-scale pilot I can understand some of the dynamics that come into play when R/C models and paragliders/hang gliders fly in close proximity.

Both of our clubs have a safe record of flying at the Point, but accidents can and do happen. A large dose of courtesy, communication, and common sense is perhaps the best solution to avoid such events in the future.

I hope this helps.....

Tom Hoopes
CD - Soar Utah 2006
Sep 06, 2006, 01:23 PM
Russ Young
isoarthenland's Avatar
Thanks for filling in the details Tom and setting things straight.


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