Research Article

Hang-gliding accidents.

Br Med J 1978; 1 doi: (Published 18 February 1978) Cite this as: Br Med J 1978;1:400
  1. R Margreiter,
  2. L J Lugger


    Seventy-five known hang-gliding accidents causing injury to the pilot occurred in the Tyrol during 1973-6. Most occurred in May, June, or September and between 11 am and 3 pm, when unfavourable thermic conditions are most likely. Thirty-four accidents happened during launching, 13 during flight, and 28 during landing, and most were caused by human errors--especially deficient launching technique; incorrect estimation of wind conditions, altitude, and speed; and choice of unfavourable launching and landing sites. Eight pilots were moderately injured, 60 severely (multiply in 24 cases), and seven fatally; fractures of the spine and arms predominated. Six of the 21 skull injuries were fatal. The risk of hang-gliding seems unjustifiably high, and safety precautions and regulations should be adopted to ensure certain standards of training and equipment and to limit flying to favourable sites and times.