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By Newton
Doug Hildreth - 1991/04

Werner Graf, a Long Beach, California pilot was vacationing in Switzerland in October 1990. He prepared to launch, but unhooked to adjust his camera. He then proceeded to launch without hooking back in.

Since this pilot was killed outside the United States he will not be counted as a U.S. fatality. But it should be noted that he is just as dead as he would be had it happened in the U.S., and we report it here to once again try to get everyone's attention about this extremely basic, but terribly serious mistake. You MUST ensure that you ARE hooked in within 15 seconds of launch--EVERY TIME.
By Newton
Peanuts - 12-01-28

damn, is it that time again??? couldn't we instead discuss the merits of wheels on the chin guards of our helmets?
By Newton
Judy McCarty - 1998/01/12

I was not there at the time of the incident, but arrived shortly thereafter. Bob launched unhooked at the Pulpit last Saturday morning. He met terra firma in the form of the rocks below launch. Others who know more would be welcome to speak.
By Newton
Blindrodie -12-1-28

Shall we just vote to bury now and get it over with?
By Newton
JBBenson - 2009/01/25

I get what Tad is saying, but it took some translation:

HANG CHECK is part of the preflight, to verify that all the harness lines etc. are straight.

HOOK-IN CHECK is to verify connection to the glider five seconds before takeoff.

They are separate actions, neither interchangeable nor meant to replace one another. They are not two ways to do the same thing.
By Newton
Doug Hildreth - 1981/04

Just before the first step of your launch run, lift the glider and make certain that the straps become tight when you do so.
By Newton
Steve Kinsley - 1998/04/30

So Marc thinks the Australian method will forever ban human error and stupidity. I suspect that eighty percent of the flying community would have unhooked to fix the radio problem instead of getting out of the harness entirely. It is easier. And there you are back in the soup.

"With EACH flight, demonstrates method of establishing that pilot is hooked in JUST PRIOR to launch." Emphasis in original. - USHGA Beginner through Advanced requirement.

I know of only three people who actually do this. I am one of them. I am sure there are more but not a lot more. Instead we appear to favor ever more complex (and irrelevant) hang checks or schemes like Marc advocates that possibly increase rather than decrease the risk of hook in failure.
By Newton
Rick Masters 11-10-26

My good friends Bob Dunn and Dave Butz both launched unhooked. Bob held on to his base tube all the way down from Plowshare. The impact split his skull and he suffered terribly until he died during the night, alone. Dave pulled himself onto his control bar and rode the glider down from the high Santa Barbara launch
By Newton
Rob Kells - 2005/12

Following a recent fatal accident caused by the pilot launching unhooked, there has been a discussion on how to guarantee that you are hooked in. The two main methods are:

1. Always do a hang check before launch, and/or

2. Always hook your harness into the glider before you get into the harness.

Interestingly, NEITHER of these methods GUARANTEES that you will not launch unhooked some day. Let's add a third one:

3. Always lift the glider vertically and feel the tug on the leg straps when the harness mains go tight, just before you start your launch run. I always use this test.

My partners (Steve Pearson and Mike Meier) and I have over 25,000 hang glider flights and have managed (so far) to have hooked in every time. I also spoke with test pilots Ken Howells and Peter Swanson about their methods (another 5000 flights). Not one of us regularly uses either of the two most popular methods outlined above.
Hmmm, could be Warren, aka FreeUSHGA, Uber-Troll...

He likes to quote folks so that if they go back and change or delete what they posted it will live forever in search engines! Usually he's more on the political rant though.

If so, go back to your bunker my narcissistic former friend.


By Newton
Doug Koch (radwhacker) 2007/10/24 A long-time pilot from Southern California and recently Las Vegas named Bill Floyd was seriously injured in a hang gliding accident last week. He launched unhooked while towing at a dry lake bed in Vegas. Bill fell about 20-30 feet from his glider and hit the dirt so hard that he broke both feet at the ankles and drove his shin bones out the bottom of his feet. He also broke his hips and nose, along with other more minor injuries. He is currently in ICU for a few more days and then on to a regular hospital room for a while then to rehabilitation. I am currently working on an accident report that will examine the causes of his accident and that will hopefully answer all the questions that naturally arise in a situation like this.
User avatar
By Davedebogusone
No matter how much this is brought up and discussed. :cuss:
No matter how many list , signs or gizmos are created. :goodidea:
One or more pilots will launch unhooked this year . :ahh:
Just the way it is,somethings will never change. :surrender: :sleep:
User avatar
By sg
You guys need to PM me when TAD shows up.
He is NOT allowed to access this website.

The IP address area matches Tad's old account.

If he comes back again, ill contact his ISP for illegal access which could get his account yanked.
By michael170
All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
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