Carabiner Warning

By Carl Fairhurst on  March 12, 2020 21:37

The original document is in French and can be viewed here

In 2018, it was reported that 3 accidents were caused by the rupture of the carabiners on solo and tandem paragliders.
It is proven that one of the accidents concerns a Camp-40mm carabiner distributed under the brand name Woody Valley.

This carabiner had about 3 years and 600 hours of cross-country and thermal flight and was used in solo paragliding.

After analysis of available public documents, products derived from the Camp 40 carabiner (Gin 40 ,Niviuk 40; APCO-AirExtreme 40; Kortel 40) would also be affected by a risk of rupture towards end-of-life or tandem use.
For safety reasons, users are advised not to use this equipment anymore.


A collection of this material is set up with the aim of carrying out tests of residuelle resistance and the results of which will be published.

You can send your reform connectors, under envelope "bubble strengthens" accompanied by this fact sheet information a:


Use Exceptional Email

Manufacturer   Model  
Use Mono/BI/Acro/ Cross/Soaring   Main Axis Resistance - kN  
    Anne of Purchase Nine / Occas. ?  

Flight time




Gudauri_Georgia paragliding accident - 2018



PSC Safety Bulletin Feb 2020

By Brian Stewart on  February 11, 2020 14:06

Pay Attention! More on changing winds


It’s been a very weird winter, wind-wise. Apart from the weather being consistently abysmal, even the breaks have had their issues with wind gradient and shear. Flyable winds at ground level have regularly evolved into howling gales at hilltop height (or, even worse, just above the hill). Last Thursday our chairman and I set off for Tailbridge, passing clagged-in Parlick and Whitestones on the way. GJ had been in the air an hour when we arrived, and while he looked a bit stationary at times, all seemed fine. The wind was strong, but consistent, so I walked down to the bottom of the hill to re-attach my wing as I’d detached it from the harness to repack the reserve. After some ground handling the wind seemed to calm a bit more, so I wing-walked up a bit, and took off. Smooth air, consistent lift, good penetration – what more could I want? Better visibility would have been nice, but no need to be greedy. I had fun for half an hour, sharing the sky with a couple of hangies exploring the lift well out over the road. I started filming Simon as he and his mate flirted with the clouds swirling around between us and Mallerstang, thinking the light was great for some moody, atmospheric shots. This was nearly my undoing: I suddenly became aware of grass only a few feet beneath me, moving in the wrong direction! I barely had time to catch hold of the rear risers and get my feet out of the podbefore contacting the ground. It could have been much more serious – there are many worse places to get blown back than Tailbridge, with its flat grassy top, so apart from falling over while I was killing the wing, no harm done.

What did I do wrong? Failed to pay attention to the conditions. I was alone in the air, apart from the 2 hang gliders which were always in my view, so with reduced need to watch the airspace for other wings, my focus on catching ‘the shot’ distracted me from my main task, which was TO FLY THE B****Y AIRCRAFT! The wind was forecast to increase, and while Tailbridge isn’t noted for wave, clearly it was moving in and out of phase and I should have expected a marked change in windspeed at any time and stayed vigilant.

What could I have done? Had I noticed the speed picking up, I could have used my speed bar to push out and land by the road. By the time I realised what was happening, I was too near the ground for that to help, my priority was to prepare to land.

When I’ve landed in strong winds before, I’ve usually been relieved to find my backwards ground speed decrease to nothing, or even slightly forward, in the last few feet. Not this time, I actually accelerated backwards as I touched down so had no chance to stay on my feet, despite landing with bent knees and jumping round to run towards the wing. Could I have twisted 180° to face the way I was moving? This wasn’t the time to practise that!

So, in conclusion, this was a good reminder to me of the need to stay focused on the task of flying the glider. Everything else is peripheral – sightseeing, photography, even eating and drinking – all things we do but it’s vital develop the skill of keeping a significant part of our brains tuned in to the job in hand.

Anyway, here’s the shot:


Using RASP for upper winds

By Brian Stewart on  January 8, 2020 16:16

RASP also has tools for displaying the wind at altitude. You may have to choose the right browser. I find it works OK in Firefox, otherwise if you right-click the partial image that comes up you can choose to display it in a new window and see the whole thing.


Using Windy

By Brian Stewart on  January 8, 2020 15:53

How to find forecasts of winds at altitude.

Windy provides an easy-to-use graphical format to show wind speeds and directions in the layers of the atmosphere right up to 40000’. Of course we only really want to see the bottom few thousand, but here’s how to find it for any PG site on

Opening Screen (you need to zoom in to the right part of the country)

Windy 1

After clicking on the site, you get the basic ground level forecast for there, and can compare the forecast models:

Windy 2

The Airgram shows the wind speeds and direction at every level. 950 hPa is about 1770’; 900hPa = 3250’

Windy 3

Of course you know how to read the direction and speed from the barbs on the diagram, don’t you . . . ?