Bulletin May 2013

Club Meeting

The next Club meeting is  at 20:00 on Thursday 13th June at St. Rumon’s.

Minutes of the Last Meeting

The minutes from the last meeting are here.

Photo Competition

This month’s winner submitted by Graham Phipps in Turkey showing how an SIV course can provide adrenalin and laxative based thrills on each flight.

Phippsy at Olu

Phippsy at Olu


Quotation of the Month

” I never predict anything, and I never will do”. Paul Gascoigne


Steve Penaluna Trophy

Winner of the Steve Penaluna Trophy was Alan Knight. He tried to get his nomination nullified on the grounds that he wouldn’t be  a worthy winner, but when the announcement was made, he was obviously delighted, and grateful for the accolade. Well done Al, you are now officially one of the few.



The BHPA latest news release is here. the BHPA Bulletin is here. The events calendar is here, and the BHPA homepage is here. The link to Skywings magazine is here. Download the new BHPA Elementary Training Guide here.

Safety Issues

Hayle Towans 22/05/13

May 22nd 155















Defending accusations that he is suffering from  Munchausen’s Syndrome, Adie is on his feet and walking around. He struggles with  his socks and so doesn’t bother changing them now. It seems an unbelievable recovery only a week after his accident at Hayle.

There had been a lot of flying done that day. Wind was variable 18-22mph so it was the mini wings that were making the most of it. Adie had left it until the last moment to leave in order to get up to Portreath for the Pilot Lectures. He decided on a top landing, which he had done on several previous occasions. He knew that there was sometimes a little rotor that had to be negotiated on the way down, but this had never caused any problems before. He made his approach, got out of the harness of his little cloud at a good height and steadied the wing into wind.This time, however, the rotor was severe and he experienced a full frontal collapse of the wing. The 30-40 ft descent to earth was over in a couple of seconds, and Adie knew immediately he had damaged his back. Chairman Steve was flying a little distance away and witnessed the incident. He immediately made for the top landing to get to Adie, while Adie was shouting to him to watch out for the rotor. Steve called the emergency services and followed the club protocol for incidents… Keep the injured pilot still, call the emergency services and ask for the air ambulance, clear the airspace and most importantly keeping the victim in good spirits by speculating how much his organs would fetch on Ebay in the event he didn’t make it.

At the hospital fractures in L1&L3 vertebrae were nothing as compared to the sick feeling Adie had when he realized how stupid he had been in taking on a risky landing when he knew the dangers that were there. It could have been a lot worse. Other pilots have has less serious accidents and had more severe injuries, and Adie knows this. I have talked to him about this incident and these are our recommendations.

1) Read the Site Guide.The site guide will be looked at to see if the caution of rotor around the top landing needs to be modified. The site guide is predominately written for paragliders, not speed/mini wings, so it is being flown in higher wind speeds than was envisaged. Perhaps this needs to be addressed on all our site’s guides. In any case the site guide is the place where all known hazards are written for your safety.

2) Get out of your harness early. Adie is convinced that if he had been sat in his harness at the time of the collapse, he would not have had time to get his legs out before hitting the ground. The difference between landing on your back or landing on your legs could be the  difference between being paralysed or not.

3) Risk. Adie knew the risks of top landing, but having done it before, decided to do so again. Every time you take a risk and get away with it encourages you to take that risk again. In reality, every time you take a risk and get away with it, brings closer the time you won’t.

4) Flying by example. The fact that on previous days  Adie top landed safely, might send a message to less experienced or unfamiliar pilots that top landing at Hayle is a safe and normal thing to do. The lesson for all pilots is to remember that your actions may encourage others to copy what you do, and for other pilots the message is not to copy what someone else does.

5) Fly in company. Flying on your own is normally OK. In this case, the fact that someone was there to aid Adie, call the  emergency services and control the situation, meant that it was only a short time between the accident and the air ambulance arriving.

Adie has very many hours flown at Hayle, and if he can get it wrong, then so can we.


May 22nd 403Adie’s comments..
A few things. I don’t remember  shouting to Steve about the rotor I was busy checking to see if I was paralysed or not .
On reflection after looking at Google and the wind direction I now can see why I had so much rotor which I didn’t experience the times before and I do think we need to adjust the site guide because it says some thing like “any  where clear of brambles” I missed the brambles. The injury I received were fractures to the superior end plates of vertebra L1 and L3 and a hiatus hernia
When I was lying on my back and staring at the hospital ceiling it brought it home to me how close a call I had. Spending just one night looking up at the ceiling  and not being able to turn or move was frightening I didn’t manage to sleep at all that night and all night the same ground rush image played over and over again in my head.
Would you take the same risks with a loaded gun to your head with the same odds?  I don’t think so. Lying on the ground and saying I knew better than that was a bit late.
Flying by your self is another issue again a risky thing to be doing.   Flying when the wind is off the hill rotor now exits where it wasn’t before.
One thing that helped was knowing all my friends and family where thinking of me and the get well messages that came flooding in helped to keep me in good spirits and I thank everyone for that.
Last word. This accident is a perfect example of why the club should support the Cornwall Air Ambulance.

See Adie’s report on Hayle in the January Bulletin here.


Video Links

Hang glider stall after towed launch, scary. Here

Wyn Davies uploaded videos from the SIV course at  Olu Here

Forthcoming Events

Club Social

You are all invited to a club social night to celebrate the end of the pilot exam lectures. A free buffet will be provided. Its an occasion for old members to catch up and for new members to meet the old. Casual dress.
The day is  Wednesday 5th June at 20:00hrs, the venue is….
The Portrearh Arms Hotel
The Square,
TR16 4LA


The End