One of our club members suffered a serious spinal injury on Friday 2nd June at Dunstable, and was taken to Oxford John Radcliffe hospital where he will have an operation shortly.
It seems that Andy Wade crashed his paraglider and was rescued from the bowl at the northern end of our site by air ambulance. Andrew is expected to recover in 3 months and hopefully be released after 5 days to home. Andrew was flying alone and had an asymmetric collapse at low level and hit the slope heavily. The recovery took some time and involved two helicopters, ambulances, police as well as fire and rescue vehicles.
His girl friend and family are aware and the BHPA have been informed. We all wish Andrew a speedy and complete recovery. Andy will be in hospital until he recovers from his operation, and please no visitors until further notice.
This accident shows the importance of terrain awareness and particularly the need to avoid areas of anticipated rotor and turbulence behind hills, other aircraft, trees and buildings when low flying. Andrew is an experienced pilot and knew the site very well but accidents can occur even when the pilot is knowledgeable.
None of us are immune from mishap. We can all improve our safety by maintaining sufficiently large safety margins even when conditions seem mild. Factor this into your flying behavior.