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SAFA ACCIDENT & INCIDENT REPORT

Initial reports are listed below.
Upon finalisation of an investigation, findings and recommendations will be published here and in the SAFA Sky Sailor magazine.
Please note: In the event of a fatality, SAFA findings will not be released until the Coroner has completed investigations and release their findings.

Date No. / Discipline State Description Recomendation
06-05-2019 11:00 1081 / PG VIC Incident Flinders Golf Club Launch Flow Ace
Having many hours experience at this site, it is common for a pilot to misunderstand the brief given before flight. A supervising pilot can & will say to the low time pilot "follow the ridge" (nothing against the supervising pilot). The pilot takes off yes does a few beats, anxiety building as they become lower and closer to the ridge, pilot makes a poor decision and thinks to follow "THE RIDGE" in all cases, regardless of potential risks of trees, rotors etc. The pilot, especially low time pilots, should always stay out in front of the ridge, if their height is decreasing, the pilot should always start to rethink their decision to stay in the air and think about going to land. Pilot should always keep the doors open to be able to make a safe out.
Pilot should always keep the doors open to be able to make a safe out.
25-04-2019 1430 1059 / PG NSW Accident Barraba BGD CURE
While on approach to landing, the pilot was taking evasive action to avoid spooking livestock in a paddock. After hitting sink and being unable to make the intended paddock a wing tip clipped a tree. The pilot suffered stable vertebrae fractures.
Pilots need to beware of becoming boxed in when on approach for landing. Early assessment of potential hazards should be undertaken, and if a safer early option is available, take that rather than pressing on for other potentially riskier alternatives.
23-04-2019 1430 1088 / PG VIC Accident Bright Niviuk Hook
A PG2 pilot launched from an inland site into already strong wind conditions which continued to strengthen. This pilot was under supervision by a PG4 pilot. The PG2 pilot then found themselves in difficulty penetrating to a chosen landing paddock and landed in a tall tree.
The level of supervision of PG2 pilots should be more defined. This will then help shape the expectations of the supervised (PG2) pilot and the supervising pilot on what information should be obtained, considered and imparted before launching. This will then help shape a more appropriate set of flight decisions (including whether or not launching is advisable).
18-04-2019 12:40 1083 / PG VIC Incident Bright Air Designs Eazy
A low airtime PG2 pilot was making passes closely in across a treed ridge in thermic conditions. The pilot experienced sudden sink by was too close to the terrain to avoid it by turning away from the slope. A tree landing resulted.
1. Flight training facilities must make student pilots aware of the dangers of flying too close to terrain in thermic conditions. 2. Pilots supervising PG2 pilots are advised to assess conditions at thermic sites and support appropriate clearance for terrain as part of the pre-flight advice provided.
06-04-2019 1040 / PG VIC Incident Portsea
Pilots disregard to others including pilots and spectators was a serious lack of care for safety! Pilot was Performing wing overs and launch slides while others were either waiting to launch or packing up their gear. Pilot was showing a total disregard to others safety....
To all pilots, think about the consequences if something goes wrong... The old saying, "Plan for the worst hope for the best"! You just never know when things can go from having a great time to a full on emergency.
31-03-2019 12:00 1037 / HG Southeast Qld Accident Sunshine Beach North End, Noosa Moyes Malibu 2
This was a minor incident involving an inexperienced, restricted pilot flying a site for the first time. It is apparent the conditions were fluctuating. The pilot has been flying too close to terrain/shrubbery in the fluctuating conditions and possibly too slow. It appears he has lost height and full control of the craft through the combined conditions and lack of speed. This caused the glider to clip shrubs which turned the glider into the low trees/shrubs. The pilot did not suffer any injuries and the glider sustained minimal damage. The site is rated as a supervised site, the pilot was compliant with HGFA and local club requirements. Both the pilot and supervisor reported the matter in a timely and thorough fashion.
Inexperience is a major factor in this instance and the pilot understands where it went wrong. No further recommendations.