Safety Advisory 04/2015 - Speed systems and risers
The BHPA have had reports of two cases where the speed system has failed in flight. Both gliders (A Gin Carrera and a UTurn Lightning) have suffered from one of the speed system pulleys coming away from the riser. The integrity of the riser itself is not affected.
Like many other models, both these wings use 'skinny' risers which means there is relatively small area of stitching where the speed system pulleys are attached. This area is put under considerable stress when the speed bar is applied and requires regular checking.
A contributory factor is that the pulleys and stitching on many gliders is concealed beneath a neoprene sheath or cover. Both Gin and U-turn have taken steps to reinforce this area, but it is very likely that other models may also be liable to similar stresses and the BHPA strongly recommend that all pilots inspect their speed systems regularly; including peeling back any protective covers, carefully inspecting the stitching and checking the webbing tabs for wear.
The full Safety Advisory notice can be downloaded from the Safety Documents area on the BHPA website.