Paraglider crash at Bulwer

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Mike Wissing
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Re: Paraglider crash at Bulwer

Unread post by Mike Wissing » Mon Aug 05, 2019 8:49 am

Just pulled this BS off a newspaper site regarding two accidents, one resulting in death and another pilot badly burned.
"The South African Hang-gliding and Paragliding Association could not be reached for comment. "
WOW :shock:
What is going on........
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Re: Paraglider crash at Bulwer

Unread post by Thermalator » Mon Aug 05, 2019 9:26 am

Mike avcom is not the best for paragliding news why don't you just message your old mates like HF, instead of insinuating on here (my only reason for posting is not to allow your poison to remain unchallenged on the internet)

The burn incident did not come up on avcom because no fatality, never the less it is worst case scenario of all pilot's(esp GA) nightmares.
  • Experienced pilot doing a competition out landing in the bush in tight bottom of valley, saw one powerline but not the other.
  • broken conductor stunned him & set veld alight around him
  • harness is a pod/canoe of neoprene...flammable
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Re: Paraglider crash at Bulwer

Unread post by Mike Wissing » Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:50 am

Thermalator, what poison are you referring to? This is a forum for learning.
I don't insinuate anything anything. I thought I was pretty clear. You seem to be rather quick on the trigger about anything paragliding but you lack credibility by not publishing your name. I'm going to inquire about you with my "old mates" but I already have a good idea what I'm going to find.
You are hostile to a lot of people and there is no need for it. There is a news blackout which is a fact. SAHPA wouldn't comment on any of the last three bad accidents when approached by the press. Another fact. Adds up to a culture of silence which does not show transparency and so the natural conclusion is a cover-up.
BTW: HF was my student, not my mate.
Please don't reply. I'm going to ignore you. Fly safe and enjoy the incredible sport which is free-flight. It is a gift and a privilege.

Someone who is friendly is welcome to pm me if there is some new information :D
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Re: Paraglider crash at Bulwer

Unread post by Tallies » Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:22 pm

Mike Wissing wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:50 am
Thermalator, what poison are you referring to? This is a forum for learning.
I don't insinuate anything anything. I thought I was pretty clear. You seem to be rather quick on the trigger about anything paragliding but you lack credibility by not publishing your name. I'm going to inquire about you with my "old mates" but I already have a good idea what I'm going to find.
You are hostile to a lot of people and there is no need for it. There is a news blackout which is a fact. SAHPA wouldn't comment on any of the last three bad accidents when approached by the press. Another fact. Adds up to a culture of silence which does not show transparency and so the natural conclusion is a cover-up.
BTW: HF was my student, not my mate.
Please don't reply. I'm going to ignore you. Fly safe and enjoy the incredible sport which is free-flight. It is a gift and a privilege.

Someone who is friendly is welcome to pm me if there is some new information :D
Finally someone is getting what I referred to in my post. I have already mentioned what happened at Bulwar. The burning accident was just that. Pilot is finally progressing well and will hopefully be out of hospital soon. Yes more than a year later. The accident during the comp was not at the comp itself. It wast flyable at Barberton on the day and 2 pilots decided to go and fly another site. I Am speculating but low alt collapse that he could not recover from.
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Re: Paraglider crash at Bulwer

Unread post by excolonial » Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:33 pm

I used to think that paragliding was the safest of sports, something along the lines of wafting about serenely after a running take off from a grassy slope somewhere. After much research I was quite surprised to hear just how many ways you could come unstuck.

I read one particularly horrific account of a chap alpine flying who had a collapse and ended up wrapped in his chute until he impacted the rocks below. I have done tandem many times on calm days, and it was as I expected it would be. My foray into uninstructed piloting of one from a large dune did not go too well, but was entertaining for the bystanders.
The older I get, the more I am convinced that "A Confederacy of Dunces" is non fiction.
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Re: Paraglider crash at Bulwer

Unread post by Pieter Roux » Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:32 pm

Mike Wissing wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 8:43 am
Still silence. This is sad on many levels. There is no transparency in free flight like there used to be in the 80's and early 90's where we tried to learn from others mistakes..
You may wonder why I continue to follow this thread. I started the paragliding craze in Bulwer with my school ParaAge in the beginning of PG. Darryl Moody and I ran a hang gliding school out of Ifafa and we would have a flyaway there every year or so. When I broke away from Tranquility and went on my own I use Bulwer and sites in Durban a lot. I have a very soft spot for that site and have monitored it from afar for years. Many of my students trained and had their first high flights and soaring flights off Bulwer.
Is there any more information about this crash?
Mike you are absolutely correct to stir ........i hope that somebody will reply with facts

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Re: Paraglider crash at Bulwer

Unread post by Roger » Thu Aug 08, 2019 7:40 am

A mail received to our support address from the family, they too are seeking information.

@Mike, I see HF is on the SAHPA comm. Maybe drop him a line on hot@sahpa.co.za

Kevin Storie, head of Safety, has little time for AvCom, so would not expect a response from him.
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Re: Paraglider crash at Bulwer

Unread post by PO » Tue Nov 12, 2019 9:17 pm

Tallies wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:22 pm

The burning accident was just that. Pilot is finally progressing well and will hopefully be out of hospital soon. Yes more than a year later. The accident during the comp was not at the comp itself. It wast flyable at Barberton on the day and 2 pilots decided to go and fly another site. I Am speculating but low alt collapse that he could not recover from.
https://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/Life ... t-20191101

Young man discharged 482 days after paragliding accident
2019-11-01 11:12
Cyril Blackburn

Kelvin van Baalen (22) spent 482 days in a hospital bed after suffering serious burn wounds in a paragliding accident last year when he flew into high-voltage electricity lines.

For months doctors feared for the life of the young paraglider. On 29 June last year, on the last day of the Barberton Paragliding Nationals, Kelvin suffered third- and fourth-degree burns over two-thirds of his body after he collided with high-voltage wires.

On the fateful day, Kelvin, an experienced paraglider, saw too late that he was headed for the electricity lines. He panicked and lost control of his paraglider. The voltage that shot through his body burnt his clothes off him and caused serious internal injuries.

During his time in hospital Kelvin had to be resuscitated nine times when his heart stopped. He’s had more than 17 skin grafts, his organs started failing and he’d gone into septic shock more than once. He also survived multiple infections, a heart attack and hypoxia (oxygen shortage to areas of the body).

Against all odds, her son survived, says Leigh van Baalen (47). And now she barely has words to describe her joy, love and gratitude, she adds.

“There’s nothing I can say to completely express how grateful I am to finally bring my son home,” Leigh tells us about the moment on 24 October when Kelvin was discharged from hospital.

“It’s a miracle – that’s the only way to describe it. If you think of all the times we didn’t think he’d make it . . . Of all the nights of worry and hours spent next to his hospital bed. At one stage I didn’t know if he’d ever come home again. And here we are. What an incredible privilege.”

Kelvin was overjoyed to be back among his family and friends after such a long time, Leigh says.

“He was ecstatic – but he didn’t recognise the place. We’d started building a house around the time of the accident. And after such a long time, he can finally see his own, new home.”

Though there’s joy and excitement in the Van Baalen home over Kelvin’s return, there’s a long, gruelling rehabilitation process ahead, Leigh says. Kelvin sustained series muscle damage, especially to his one calf and hip.

“He’ll have to relearn how to walk and even to hold a pen to write. He still has tremors. The other day, while I was filling out his discharge papers at the hospital, Kelvin teased, ‘I don’t have to learn to write again – everything’s digital.’ But I pointed out that I was busy filling in forms by hand – there’s no computer for that.

“He’s becoming his old self again.”

Kelvin had been set to complete a BA degree with a psychology major at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) last year when the accident happened. He’s had to quit his studies while they determine how long his recovery will take.

Leigh praises Kelvin’s girlfriend, Robyn, who’s been faithfully visiting Kelvin in hospital the whole time. Robyn is a third-year homeopathy student. The two had known each other for just more than a month at the time of the accident.

“I honestly don’t know what we would’ve done without her,” Leigh says. “We’re grateful to so many people: family members, doctors, nurses, supporters. But to her especially – she was there through every setback, every tear shed and every small victory. It’s incredible to see how she’s standing by him.”

Despite the challenges they still face, Leigh says she’s ready for the next chapter: to support and help Kelvin through his rehabilitation.

“We can’t deny that there’s still an epic journey ahead. Kelvin will need rehabilitation, surgery, psychological help and neurologist visits for months to come. He still has open wounds that need cleaning and tending. He’s incredibly weak. He tires easily and is in constant pain.

“But for now, we want to celebrate the good news – because he’s home at last and that’s what we’d been hoping for for so long.”
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Re: Paraglider crash at Bulwer

Unread post by Lazy duck » Tue Nov 12, 2019 9:37 pm

PO thank you for the update. Take care young man. Aviators thoughts with you be strong.
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Re: Paraglider crash at Bulwer

Unread post by lion » Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:29 am

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Re: Paraglider crash at Bulwer

Unread post by Surge » Wed Nov 20, 2019 3:11 am

lion wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:29 am
R15 million paid for hospital stay. Good to have cover.
The medical scheme only paid because they were forced to. They are definately not the hero in this story.
The scheme had refused to pay for more than 10 days of rehabilitation but the agreement, made an order of court, came after Van Baalen lodged an urgent application to the Cape High Court asking it to order the scheme to pay for his treatment, pending the outcome of a complaint laid with the Council for Medical Schemes.
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Re: Paraglider crash at Bulwer

Unread post by lion » Wed Nov 20, 2019 3:27 am

Surge wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 3:11 am
lion wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:29 am
R15 million paid for hospital stay. Good to have cover.
The medical scheme only paid because they were forced to. They are definately not the hero in this story.
The scheme had refused to pay for more than 10 days of rehabilitation but the agreement, made an order of court, came after Van Baalen lodged an urgent application to the Cape High Court asking it to order the scheme to pay for his treatment, pending the outcome of a complaint laid with the Council for Medical Schemes.
It seems that the dispute was for the rehab. Seems they paid the R15m for the hospital.
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Re: Paraglider crash at Bulwer

Unread post by Mike Wissing » Wed Nov 20, 2019 9:26 am

Still no Bulwer news.....
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