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Re: Hang Gliding Accident Resulting in Injuries Near Glacier Point

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avatar Hang Gliding Accident Resulting in Injuries Near Glacier Point
August 29, 2012 12:00PM
Hang Gliding Accident Resulting in Injuries Near Glacier Point
August 09, 2012
Yosemite Search and Rescue

On Friday, August 3, 2012, at approximately 9 am, the Yosemite Emergency Communications Center received a 911 call from bystanders at Glacier Point who witnessed a hang gliding accident approximately 400 feet below the Glacier Point lookout. The bystanders reported that the subject took off from Glacier Point and then struck a tree with one of his wings, which caused him to crash into the sloping north-facing terrain below. The subject landed in a grove of manzanita that was difficult to access. Emergency response units from both the Wawona and Valley districts of the park responded to the scene. Upon arrival, NPS medical and rescue personnel determined that the patient had sustained critical injuries and an expeditious extrication would be necessary. Due to the severity of the subject's injuries and the extended time it would take to prepare and execute a technical raise from his location, rescuers decided that a short-haul extrication would be most appropriate. Rescue personnel on scene cut the subject out of the hang glider, and, while providing emergency medical care to the subject, packaged him for the short-haul. A ranger was then brought in by short-haul, the subject was clipped into the short-haul rigging, and both were short-hauled to Ahwahnee Meadow, where the subject was transferred to Mercy Air Ambulance and flown to definitive care. The patient sustained a dislocated elbow, a mandibular fracture, and significant facial trauma.

Through cooperative efforts, Yosemite National Park has granted permission to the Yosemite Hang Gliders Association (a chapter of the United States Hang Gliders Association) to conduct hang gliding activities solely from Glacier Point; one condition of the permit is that a qualified hang gliding monitor must be present. Launch times, landing zones, and pilot qualifications are highly regulated.

Within the last year and a half there have been two significant hang gliding accidents in the park. Both pilots sustained significant injuries. The pilot in this accident was very experienced-it is important to remember that even those with years of experience can make critical mistakes. In any high-risk activity, maintaining awareness, avoiding complacency, and double-checking systems are as important for experts as they are for novices.



http://www.nps.gov/yose/blogs/Hang-Gliding-Accident-Resulting-in-Injuries-Near-Glacier-Point.htm
Re: Hang Gliding Accident Resulting in Injuries Near Glacier Point
August 29, 2012 12:28PM
seen them flying in the valley for a long time, where do they land, el cap meadow?
avatar Re: Hang Gliding Accident Resulting in Injuries Near Glacier Point
August 31, 2012 04:54PM
Quote
ryanmj
seen them flying in the valley for a long time, where do they land, el cap meadow?

No, they land in the Manzanita bushes below Washburn Point. Sorry, could not resist! grinning smiley
Re: Hang Gliding Accident Resulting in Injuries Near Glacier Point
August 29, 2012 04:05PM
OMG I dislocated my elbow once. VERY painful!
Re: Hang Gliding Accident Resulting in Injuries Near Glacier Point
August 31, 2012 06:30PM
On our way to hike the 4-mile trail one morning about a dozen years ago, we were walking through Cook's Meadow and came across a group with hangliders breaking down their gear. We asked them where they started and they said Glacier Point and they told us they would be doing the same flight the next morning. We made sure we were on hand for the show the next morning -- and it was impressive watching each of the gliders come into view, skirt the granite walls, and then come down in the meadow right in front of us. It looked (and is) really dangerous.

I hope this glider makes a full recovery.
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