Home Forums Safety Incident report – Hangglider launch Marshall

  • Author
  • #12861

    Incident summary

    On May 26, approximately 3:45 PM,  pilot attempted to launch at Marshall.  Witness stated when the pilot picked the glider up off the ground the nose lifted from a wind gust and the right wing lifted.  Neither the pilot nor the nose wire helper corrected either of these conditions and the pilot yelled clear and started to run.  The wing did not achieve flying speed and rolled left, cartwheeling onto the ground.



    The winds recorded at Marshall at the time of the accident were south at 15-20 mph.


    Emergency response







    Broken downtube


    Pilot involved

    The pilot is a current member of both USHPA and CSS with the appropriate rating for launching from Marshall.


    Root cause

    Pilot started launch run during a strong gust with the wing at too high an angle of attack and the right wing lifting.


    Proximate cause

    Pilot did not control wing during the gust and wait for a calmer cycle


    Corrective action

    Pilot stated that he put himself under time pressure because other pilots were waiting to launch and launched when he should not have.  Pilot acknowledged that he should have waited for a better cycle and not put time pressures on himself. Pilot also stated that he was wearing gloves that were slippery and will have better gloves in the future.

    Tim Ward
    General Member


    Just an option:

    If you’re feeling like other people want to fly, and you don’t like the conditions, there’s space off to the north east of the lower launches to park your glider.

    But you can ask, and if you’re not wild about conditions, odds are good the people behind you aren’t, either.

    Upper launch, of course, there’s room all over.

    Jonathan Dietch
    General Member

    I agree with all of Tim’s sentiments but must caution that the upper launch is always sketchy for hang gliders unless you go off the very top of the West side when the wind is SW. That portion is steep and it’s easy to see whether or not the wind is filled in by the swaying of the wild grass. We had a blown launch from just below there a few weeks ago by a pilot on a topless who was negligent and unfamiliar with the nuances of top-launching. I must further caution that another pilot on a topless was nearly killed after top-launching in thermic conditions. In general it’s just safer to walk down to either ramp and get into the airflow along a steep drop-off.

    Tim Ward
    General Member

    Yep. I really only brought it up as a matter of completeness.

  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.