Accidents occur during paragliding. This is a fact. However, the causes are mainly manmade. For example, inadequate training, poor techniques, ignoring weather conditions…
The accidents can injure head, spine, pelvic, and lower and upper limbs. Injuries to lower limbs (ankles, legs, pelvic area) and spines are the most common. During landing, pilots get maximum injuries mainly because of mistakes made by them.
Don’t be scared.
I am writing about injuries to create awareness. So that you take precautions and focus while learning the activity.
Main Causes of Injuries
- Influence of terrain and weather such as rocks, strong winds, thermal turbulence
- Poor landing techniques, including landing with straight legs, can hurt unprotected legs and cause bruises, cuts, and bumps on different parts of the body.
- If the pilot lands quickly due to turbulence or poor judgement, injuries may occur.
- If the pilot misjudges airstream conditions during landing and s/he sits back quickly, s/he will land on the buttocks. This will hurt the spine.
- If the canopy collapses (deflates) while flying, paraglider will stop (stall) and lifting force will disappear. The paraglider will thus fall rapidly, causing various injuries. Especially when the pilot cannot correct the stall quickly.
- While taking off you will run fast downhill until the canopy expands and gives adequate lift. Many accidents occur during this stage. These cause ankle injuries.
- Crosswinds, the winds that are not blowing parallel to the traveling direction of the vehicle, may cause trauma.
- Technical issues
Types of Injuries
- Neurological problems
How to Minimize Injuries
- To minimize spinal injuries, a spine protector system can be used. In fact, the system is an integral part of the modern paragliding gear.
- Your head will remain relatively safe inside a helmet.
- Injuries can be minimized by learning and practicing correct gliding and safety techniques.
Take care of yourself!