Home Forums Safety Accident report – paraglider tree landing and helicopter rescue, Marshall

  • Author
  • #13631
    John Benario
    General Member

    Accident summary

    On August 10, approximately 4 PM, pilot hit sink behind Marshall and made a controlled tree landing in an inaccessible area behind Regionals.



    The recorded winds at Marshall were 7-12 MPH south at 4 PM on August 10.


    Emergency response

    Pilot was extracted from the trees by SB county helicopter






    None noted – PG was retrieved from trees


    Pilot involved

    The pilot holds current CSS and USHPA ratings appropriate for flying from Marshall


    Root cause

    Pilot was low behind Marshall and could not make glide to the backup LZ


    Proximate cause

    After launching from Marshall pilot attempted to cross to Crestline without ensuring enough altitude to provide margin for unexpected conditions.


    Corrective action

    Pilot is a talented, quickly advancing PG pilot; however, pilot has only been flying for about 6 months.  Pilot had been awarded P3 one and a half weeks before this accident.

    In conversations with pilot’s instructor and this reporter, the pilot acknowledged that enthusiasm to advance had clouded the decision making process and pilot had not adequately considered the risk involved with the decision to attempt to cross from Marshall to Crestline.

    Both pilot’s instructor and this reporter provided thoughts on risk analysis and how flying skills can come quickly but experience comes more slowly and the time to accumulate experience cannot be cut short.

    Pilot’s instructor will provide guidance and flight plan approval as pilot continues to improve.

    Jonathan Dietch
    General Member

    Good news! On the very next day, the pilot and a good friend retrieved the PG and harness intact and they resuming flying. I am friends with this pilot and will assist with mentoring in X/C skills. They are receptive to positive mentoring.

    Here’s a positive mentoring tip: Anytime the LZ is out of gliding range, we are in X/C mode and need to find lift or locate another place to land safely. X/C is any flying that places us beyond easy reach of our regular LZ and is not limited ‘long’ distance flying. Plenty of pilots land out while flying locally. It’s a fact of life and one that does not need to become a drama. Let’s keep it upbeat people.

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