British Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association

British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association

Skywings Archived News

Skywings Archived News - Jan 2010

Aussie pilot survives free fall!

Aussie hang glider pilot Adam Parer survived a severe battering after his Airborne Rev prototype tucked and broke during the Gulgong Classic comp in November.

Soon after entering a thermal his glider nosed over, tumbled twice, broke up and began spinning. The rotational speed built up to such a degree that he was unable to reach his parachute, but his harness backplate failed and he was ejected into free fall. Damage to his harness made it very difficult to extract his parachute, but he was eventually able to deploy it having fallen several thousand feet. "What came next was the most painful and violent impact I have ever felt in my life," he reported. "It was as if I had been torn in half."

Adam landed safely and was immediately attended by four other pilots from the comp who had witnessed his descent and landed straight away. He was taken by helicopter to hospital in Newcastle, where the head of the Emergency Department turned out to be fellow competition hangie Conrad Loten! Despite six broken ribs and a broken sternum, a punctured lung and severe bruising, two weeks after the accident Adam was expected to make a full recovery. Adam's glider was found completely destroyed about a km from where he landed.

The Airborne Rev first appeared at the Laragne Worlds in June in the hands of Scott Barrett and won the Canungra Cup in October flown by Rick Duncan.

Niviuk changes

Andy Talbot, founder of Niviuk UK, is to hand over UK sales and distribution and control of the company to a new partnership of Barney Woodhead and Phil Colbert.

Andy is not severing his connection with Niviuk and will liaise directly with their new head office in La Cellera de Ter, Spain. "It has been a real pleasure to establish such a new and exciting paraglider range to the UK," he said. "The rapid rise in Niviuk's popularity over such a short period of time is a testament to the quality, performance and originality of the gliders. I would like to thank everyone who has supported us, purchased a Niviuk glider or simply contacted us. We have every confidence in Barney and Phil continuing to establish Niviuk as one of the most popular paraglider brands in the country, and we are confident they will do a superb job."

Niviuk UK s Alex Colbeck is to dedicate himself full time to his Spark Web Design business.

Speed record ratified

Dustin Martin's 100km triangle hang gliding speed record, set from Zapata Texas at 49.8km/h on a Wills Wing T2C on July 27th, has been ratified as a world record.

Canadian pilot Martin Henry held this record for almost exactly seven years since 2002. Congratulations to Dustin Martin - this is about crossing the terrain at over 30mph while thermalling, without appreciable wind assistance!

Flyability success

A Flyability grant awarded to Allison Piff was put to good use on September 30th with a tandem paragliding flight.

Lee Bligh, CFI of Cloudbase Paragliding, called Allison and her father Ian to Westbury in the expectation of good flying conditions. In light winds the other pilots on the hill gave the pair the room they needed to make several take-offs and landings, as well as soaring and some gentle thermalling. Allison and her dad hope any publicity given to their flight will encourage other disabled people to contact Flyability to experience free flying. Allison enjoyed herself hugely and has already declared that she wants to come back for more in the spring!

Acro sponsorship

Southern Club acro fiend Michael Muldoon has obtained sponsorship from several companies for the 2010 acro season. His new wing, a custom-white Ozone FLX2, is sponsored by Tignes ski/snowboard website and Tim Cox at Sussex Hang Gliding and Paragliding.

Michael has also secured a promotion allowance from online paragliding sales network Paratroc, covering Fly with Me freestyle wear, Bertoni sunglasses and Montana Vertical helmets.

This winter he will work as a driver in the Espace Killy and Paradiski area; next spring he will work part-time at Paratroc and be the English representative at the Annecy Parapente Expo. He will also compete in acro events at Voss (Norway), Acroaria (Italy), Downteam (Sweden) and Freestyleair (Switzerland).

Urs wins XContest

44 year-old Swiss Nova teamster Urs Haari won this year's 2009, the world's biggest online XC contest. Urs won both Standard and Sport category titles flying an EN B Nova Mentor, leaving many EN C and D pilots in his wake. Urs reports, "The real 'hammer' days stayed away in 2009 and conditions often were quite rough, but I think that my endurance and patience are very important factors. Plus a high level of physical and mental strength, the right strategy and carefully-selected equipment." Nova have also crowned Urs "Nova Pilot of the Year 2009".

Morillas at 7800m!

Not content with his 7,354m paramotor altitude record set on September 8th, ten days later Ramon Morillas flew to 7,864m in the Nanga Parbat area of Pakistan. Ramon was flying a PAP Hermes-powered Advance Sigma 7 using a nitro-methane fuel mix.

Details and a short film of the flight - with a really good Led Zeppelin soundtrack - are at And he doesn't use Stairway to Heaven!


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