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By TjW
Sure. And it reminded me of the hostility toward hang gliding by some in the sailplane community.

You could argue that any aircraft that isn't aerodynamically controlled isn't airworthy. And some did.

In early hang gliding we realized it wasn't beginners who were getting killed it was mostly highly experienced pilots. We started examining the aerodynamics of the gliders being flown and started correcting the problems. When was the last time you read of a production HG going into a non-recoverable dive?

I even corrected my "standard Rogallo" by adding the John Lake "Sail Feather". Paul MacCready once said to me that the Sail Feather was the most important safety improvement for the Rogallo design ever made. The glider could now recover quickly from a full luff dive.

So often I read a PG observer's description of a death due to collapse as being the pilot's fault and guess what - quite often the pilot was highly experienced. Sound familiar?

Maybe nothing can be done to improve the PG collapse problem but the PG'ers should at least admit it is an aircraft problem not pilot error (unless the error was in deciding to launch that time). They kick anybody off their forum who mentions the "paraglider dead man's curve". Hey, it's just common physics guys and gals. What is the minimum altitude needed to deploy a rescue chute? What altitude did the collapse occur? Do the math!

Frank @ glad I fly a hang glider
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