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Rule One : Question Everything Except Rule Two

Rule Two : Never Question the Wisdom of Rule One

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Continuing in 2013 to ensure a safer CHOICE always remains available to UK paragliding pilots!

Why a safer choice?

Back in the late 90's when I was looking at taking up the sport the very first thing I did was research what theory mainstream PG training is based on, the reason being was that it appeared the sport had far more accidents than could be reasonably explained by actual 'pilot error', that being the common conclusion seen in many 'official' PG accident reports.

NB. Unfortunately for many years freeflight accidents in UK paragliding were ‘investigated’ by those that provided the training in the first place....

The future is slowly looking brighter as now the CAA (AAIB) is involved in investigating paragliding deaths, unfortunately when looking at the deaths the advice is often still ‘pure BHPA’ so the sport keeps seeing avoidable accidents & injuries...  perhaps if this changes in the future corrections will finally be forced on those who keep generating the high accident rates.

When looking into the core theories I found it surprisingly easy to see basic mistakes which unfortunately give rise to the typical 'normal' PG practices, these often being the very practices that lead to far too many totally avoidable accidents.

History can, if you are prepared to learn from past mistakes, can help pilots avoid repeating old errors


With a sport in which the materials & equipment have vastly improved over twenty odd years, I looked to see if there has been, as you would expect, any significant improvement in actual pilot safety, i.e. a reduction in accident rates, based on all available evidence accident rates, with the exception of accidents due to poor wing design (very early days of sport only), are no better than they were many years ago and in fact may be worse.

My conclusion, from ten years of careful study is that around 90% of the theory used in PG training is in fact based on a couple of basic errors, and as a result ‘normal’ training practices & theory actually result in a considerable increase in the accident risks most pilots are exposed to!

This goes a long way to explain why the accident rates have not dropped significantly with the advances over the years among those using ‘safe’ BHPA theory & practices, while those chosing to re-train with me ‘dangerous’ theory & practices fly far more hours, often on higher rated wings  yet enjoy a notiably lower accident rate, in is also worth noting of the very few accidents at the club over 10+ years, “Unsafe Regression” reverting to a pilots first training (BHPA) is almost always the key factor in their accident.

So what did I do?

I have a background in problem solving by using both science (physics) & HP&L to find solutions, this as well as many years partaking in sports like sailing, where a good core understanding of the 'How & Why' of wind power, I found greatly helps investigating paragliding flight and especially why ‘normal’ training results in the accident rates seen amoung BHPA trained pilots.

Having looked at all the options for taking up the sport I made the informed choice to self train and so avoid all the common PG errors, therefore escaping the “INSTRUCTION Errors” which generate the pilot responses during developing “Incidents” that are generally blamed on “Pilot Error” in the almost inevitable PG accident..... By self training not based on old “Core Theory Errors” but rather based on science (inc. HP&L) has resulting in my flying thousands of safe flying hours despite mainly flying high performance DHV 2/3 or comp gliders over the last 10+ years!

# HP&L = Human Performance & Limitations

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