ongoing project by all interested persons.
Papers on topic are welcome.
Paraglider Dead-Man's Curve
Reverberations of Mythology 2012 Rick
June 23, 2012 --
With the death of a paraglider pilot in a canopy collapse in Israel, today
marks the 41st known paragliding death for 2012 and reaches the halfway
point compared to last years' fatality total of 82 deaths. Disturbingly,
at this time last year there were "only" 32 paragliding deaths so we are
witnessing a SIGNIFICANT 28% increase in fatalities for this year. As I
wrote on May 16, "my fears of increased thermal activity as a result of
global warming may be coming true. While this may be a boon to
cross-country hang gliding, it threatens even more the survivability of
foolish paraglider pilots in utter denial, riding collapsible wings, who
gamble with their lives on every inland flight. My gut feeling is that
2012, due to increased thermal activity, will turn out to be the worst
year in a very dismal paragliding history."
914 PARAGLIDING DEATHS SINCE 2002
Mythology of the Airframe
PLEASE FORWARD THIS MESSAGE TO INTERESTED PARTIES
Sept. 19, 2011
As post #126 on Paragliding Forum's topic "Safety and PG related incidents
and accidents/What is this site?", you wrote:
"Unless at least one other poster wants more robustly to answer this
topic's quest, I will let this post be my last on this topic; a continuing
study of that site will be served by interested persons served up by World
ParaGliding Association within the enlarged topic at 'PDMC matters'."
By early Sunday morning, September 18, 2011, this thread had been viewed
7633 times. The responses appear to strongly support my contention,
established over a year prior to the first post, that few paraglider
pilots are capable of rational discussion of issues relating to either the
extraordinary death toll of over 850 individuals in less than ten years or
the effects of the Paraglider Dead Man's Curve (PDMC) on flight safety of
paragliders. The quality of these responses tightly fit within the defined
boundaries of DENIAL, defined in Wikipedia as "a defense mechanism
postulated by Sigmund Freud, in which a person is faced with a fact that
is too uncomfortable to accept and rejects it instead, insisting that it
is not true despite what may be overwhelming evidence."
We can use the succinct definitions of the TYPES of denial to illustrate
my contention by examining the responses following Partisanfox's question,
" Is this some kind of a paragliding bashing site? " in regard to my
statement ""Real pilots do not die like chickens tossed from helicopters.
Paragliding is a stunt. Get an airframe before you are paralyzed or
DENIAL OF FACT
#5 "the 'airframe' bullshit is just that"
#12 "Paragliders have got much safer over the last 20, 15 and 10 years."
#25 "paragliding, one of the most dangerous sports in the world??????? be
#37 "his statistics are likely bull****"+"surely not down as much as he
indicates"+"not much use"
#43 " 2010-48 death, doesnt mean ANYTHING"
DENIAL OF RESPONSIBILITY -- BLAMING
This form of denial involves avoiding personal responsibility by blaming -
a direct statement shifting culpability and may overlap with denial of
#2 "Rick is a complete wanker"+"ridiculous trolling"
#3 "Ricky doesn't like PG"+"rants"
#5 "a troll"+"someone jealous"
#6 "he hasn't flown a hang glider for many years"+"he's had a go at the
Wikipedia page on paragliding"
#7 "There is a similar personality on the PG world"
#9 "Rick must have some strong views on religion"
#11 "Oh dear, is he still going? ...maybe doctoring those links so that
they're not real, clickable links wouldn't be a bad idea."
#17 [re: KITEBOARDER EDT] "he's trolling."+" Don't feed."
#19 "nothing says crackpot like pointing out on your own website all the
people who think you are an idiot!"
#23 "Rick has no understanding of what is going on"+"uninformed claptrap
Rick wrote about"
[Comment: The "uninformed claptrap" was a direct quote from PG pilot Dr.
Peter Reagan's analysis of Jody Lucas' launch accident, which the poster
mistakenly assumed I had written.]
#29 "not useful data, just a collection of quotes, news-links and other
associated cobblers to provide a list which he uses to backup his "already
#30 "Rick Masters pontificating"
#38 "hate site"
#41 "a pointless list"+"rubbish"+"why was he obsessed with PG when HG (of
which he was once one) needed its own house in order"
#44 "My main objection to Rick Masters is that he a blind spot about Hang
Gliding!"+"preconceived ideas"+"neglects the whole picture"+"a partisan
attempt to discredit"
#51 "the interpretation is totally nuts"
#55 " unbelievable"+"stopped reading"+"level of stupidity is
unbearable"+"I got p***ed off"
#77 "weird obsession"+"older, outdated pilots"+"axe to grind"+"numbers are
statistically irrelevant"+"without a context"
#87 "deep prejudice"+"unfounded in facts"+"You just don't like
paragliders"+"antagonistic or uneducated garbage about PGs"+"angry,
inflammatory and inaccurate"
#89 "hg"+"HDMC"+"don't you believe the HDMC exist?"+HDMC"
#97 "My personal experiance is that tha major problem is in the pilot."
DENIAL OF RESPONSIBILITY -- MINIMIZING
#4 "so when a paraglider collapses it suddenly ceases to exist and offers
no air resistance whatsoever?"
#39 "a lot more people than that die in the bathtub every year"+"deaths-per-year
numbers alone mean nothing"+"emotionally charged anecdotes that appear to
support his argument"
#41 "6 pilots have died in the US while paragliding. In that same time, 10
pilots have been killed while hang gliding."
#43 "We all are gonna die. Everything what we do, walking on the street,
driwing a car, brings us to possible death."
#44 "both sports are equally dangerous to the fool hardy."
#46 "Numbers are great for cherry picking to support an argument"
#66 "not much about hang gliding safety statistics for the last years can
be found"+"Do the hg statistics exist or is it really a cover up?"
#68 "a huge cover up about hanggliding safety statistics in the US"
#73 "that although these deaths remain socially unacceptable, they are
well into the average range of other sports with a risk."
#77 "So much dedication with nearly religious fanatism put on such a
secondary subject"+"is suspicious"+"you could make the same website about
fatalities of people killed by hammers"
#82 "if not also hang gliders is quite vulnerable during exactly take of
and landings? "
#83 "he will never make a useful contribution to Paraglider Safety"+"He
has a blind spot about his own sport."
#84 "morbid delight when he finds an incident"+"to have any meaning, one
would need to reduce the sample study to a country or region"+"a
collection of nastiness"
#85 "hang gliders"+"hang glider dead mans curve"+"hg tumble"+"Why is that
you seems to care a lot about the PDMC and not about the HDMC?"
#92 "utterly pointless discussion"
#102 "I wonder are skydiving parachutes also deathtraps? Powered
parachutes? Round reserves? Hot air balloons? That inflataplane Goodyear
tire made in the 1940's?"
#106 "May I ask you to fit the missing "h" in this thread's title to What
is this shite?"
#108 "STOP THIS NONSENSE NOW"
#110 "incomprehensible nonsense"
#117 "Joe is actually using Paraglidingforum.com to create valid links
towards what is probably his own or his buddy's cometclones website"
#118 "that's exactly what he's doing"
#119 "are Joe Faust and Rick Masters bots spreading their "words of
wisdom" where ever they can?? I found this on my local clubs forum"
DENIAL OF RESPONSIBILITY -- JUSTIFYING
When someone takes a choice and attempts to make that choice look okay due
to their perception of what is "right" in a situation.
#13 "You could say the same about motorcycling"
#27 "drivers are in far more denial about the risks they are taking
everytime they get behind the wheel, than we paragliders are everytime we
#39 "the same air that will collapse you on launch in a paraglider will
give you sticky wing in a hang glider. The range of outcomes is the same."
#114 "The same air that can give a paraglider a big low altitude collapse
can slip a hang glider into the ground turning final. The range of
outcomes on that one probably favors the paraglider but both are really
DENIAL OF IMPACT
#8 "I feel honoured. I now have direct quotes on Rick Masters and HWMNBM's
DENIAL OF DENIAL
#18 "Where are these complacent pilots that you speak of so
#81 "Rick Masters, whose aim is to stop people paragliding, because of his
mistaken view that the lack of a rigid airframe necessarily makes
paragliding unacceptably dangerous."
#83 "His fundamental argument - that an airframe... is always safer that a
canopy does not stand up to closer inspection statistically or
theoretically. He ignores the fact that collapses are recoverable. That
even torn canopies can still fly."
Deny the abuse, then Attack the victim for attempting to make them
accountable for their offense, thereby Reversing Victim and Offender
The offender rapidly creates the impression that the abuser is the wronged
one, while the victim or concerned observer is the offender.
#12 [to KITEBOARDER EDT] "you seem to think you know an awful lot more
#16 [to KITEBOARDER EDT] "so everyone can see how cool and macho you are"
#18 [to KITEBOARDER EDT] "you're not really speaking from a position of
#25 [to KITEBOARDER EDT] "are you from the moon?"
#26 "The link to that site is embedded in the wiki article on paragliding.
At least it was." [Comment: Any links from Wikipedia to Mythology of the
Airframe are always removed by paraglider pilots.]
#49 [to KITEBOARDER EDT] "troll troll troll"
#58 "villain in one of the Die Hard films"
#63 "mad bastards"+"fucking lunatic"
#77 "Joe appears to be a Rick Masters in training"
#86 "a programmed response."
#94 " Joe, are you a paraglider pilot?"
#97 "There is no evidence that Joe is a PG pilot. There is no evidence
that Joe is not Rick Masters"+"a sign of a mind that isn't strong"
#101 "you (and RM) are doing more harm than good to our sport"
#104 "why don't you just take your medication or get a proper job?"
#107 "cranks"+"if they were on the street they´d surely be pushing a cart
with all their possessions in it and mumbling to themselves"
#112 "incomprehensible nonsense"+"a chat bot or travesty generator"
#122 "he has a connection to reality but it is not very firm"+"medications
available to treat mental problems"
Of the 125 posts in reply, the only actual safety
discussions came from
#10 KITE-BOARDER EDT who received -16
"karma" points for saying, "I don't think paragliding should be so
dangerous. And I am putting this on the manufacturers, they don't seem to
care about the participant's safety. To them it's ok if some of the
customers cravat collapse stall spiral and a few of them die every year. I
don't think it's right that in order to gain performance you have to give
up safety. This sport should be much safer than it is. I think much more
emphasis should be on making the wings safer. As it is, it seems like all
of the safety is put on the pilot, so you have all this pilot training,
instead of making the actual paraglider itself safer. Is it impossible to
make a paraglider that has some sort of safety feature so you don't die if
aren't strapped in correctly? It seems a pretty silly way to die. And this
is all put on the pilot, instead just a little of the blame for the
#13 KITE-BOARDER EDT who received -11
"karma" points for saying, "seeing how complacent all the flyers are about
the risks is terrifying. A paraglider has to be one of the most dangerous
sports in the world. It has to be. It can't all be pilot error."
#14 PG PILOT ANDREWCRAIG "I've seen two pilots collide and die; I've been
first on the scene when a pilot broke several bones after a collapse at 40
feet. I know either of those could happen to me tomorrow, even though I
try hard to minimise the risk.
#20 PG PILOT KEITHPENNY "Got to admit, he's done a very good job of
creating a list of worldwide accidents all in one place. The guy has a lot
of spare time and has put it to good use. I don't agree with him about the
'get an airframe' stuff and that paragliders are inherantly risky like
russian roulette is but I do think there are a lot of people flying with
very little understanding and with insufficient training. ...Remember he
witnessed and filmed an early expert (and probably friend) die during
launch in Owens valley..... where thermals are a bit mental and the
paraglider misbehaved in the hands of a very talented pilot, who I assume
flew HG's for years first."
#24 MAJORTOM "Jody doesn't appear to have the right brake in his hand at
all after being plucked off the ground."
#32 BOB KUCZEWSKI "I was surprised by the statistics posted on Rick's
page. I hadn't realized there were that many deaths each year in
paragliding. ...Just to be sure we're dealing with the facts, can anyone
confirm or refute those statistics?"
#34 LARS FALKENSTROM "According to his figures the average death toll each
year is 88 for the past 9 years - that means that 48 more pilots
(including me) might have to pay the highest prize there is for soaring
the skies this year."
#40 LARS FALKENSTROM "Have a few friends with adjusted vertebraes and one
actually got hurt this very day."
#42 BOB KUCZEWSKI "It seems that there's some disagreement here with
Rick's counts, but I haven't seen anyone put forth their own actual counts
or estimates of paragliding deaths worldwide. From what I can tell, Rick
gathers his information from a variety of sources, and it's quite possible
that his method is more likely to undercount than to overcount since he
cannot know of unreported deaths. ...The question remains ... does anyone
have actual numbers to either support or disprove Rick's assertions?"
#50 FREDRIK "A lot of negative things can be said about what rickmas
writes (most is just completely wrong) but I don't think that we should
complain (too much) about his data collection. It is not perfect but it is
at least some information and I believe that the information can be
checked if you don't trust it."
#52 DREDD "he's doing a lot more accident data collection than CIVL ever
#59 JOE FAUST who received -3
"karma" points for saying, "Counts are posted as "Incomplete" as he
recognizes that reporting and finding is incomplete. We do not know how
large the incompleteness is, not whether the incompleteness is small or
#69 JOE FAUST who received -3
"karma" points for saying, "Since PG has Richard Masters collecting data
on injuries and fatalities willingly, it might be to PG advantage to have
a huge movement in PG to send him as complete set of facts as everyone
might muster; e-mail makes this possible."
#80 JOE FAUST who received -7
"karma" points for saying, "There seems to me to be much work to do by
interested persons to well define what is going on on-average about the
sector that Rick has as PDMC. Analysis is not easy. All PG pilots would do
well to be sure that Rick's data is very robust; report to him carefully
until you find someone who is collecting better than he is collecting. "
#92 JOE FAUST who received -7
"karma" points for saying, "A present thread goal is simply to answer the
thread's title topic and get on the table some clear descriptions of that
"site" (of R.M.'s). And it seems the effort by all just to answer the
title topic question is very challenging. I have yet to even name all the
sections of that site and put the sections in balance with author tactics
and purposes. I do not side with those who want to answer the thread's
topic by avoiding an examination of the site; rather, I side with those
who will work to get good descriptions of the site. Blunt-force rejection
and unwillingness to work on the examination and description to answer the
thread's topic does not win quality for the topic. If, after a time, the
thread participants show steady avoidance-to-examine-and-describe, then I
will stop participation in this thread following considerable offering on
my part. "
#109 JOE FAUST who received -3
"karma" points for saying, "The detractors who add not to the positive
fulfillment of Partisanfox's quest are challenged to come up with just one
point that has us know better just what is that site."
#111 JOE FAUST who received -2
"karma" points for saying, "Does the Moderator Team care about the several
off-topic posts and non-contributing simplistic detractors? On Partisanfox's topic posted on August 2, 2011, that we in ParaglidingForm
have to answer well: What is this site?"
#116 JOE FAUST who received -2
"karma" points for posting a correction, "Above post had a section error
corrected here in today's post on topic"
#123 JOE FAUST "Another clear aspect of that site is that changes get made
when the PG community or others send in corrections of data points; I saw
that process at work this week when I saw a "__________" pertaining to a
missing name of a known incident; it just did not seem right to leave a
person without name upon a passing; I did some private research and
eventually found the name and an improved date concerning
with incident date Aug. 7, 2005, Sunday. Condolences to his wife and
children. The site thus is open to become a solid asset to the world PG
community, especially if there were reporters from each nation, site, and
club, sending in data."
#126 JOE FAUST "Unless at least one other poster wants more robustly to
answer this topic's quest, I will let this post be my last on this topic;
a continuing study of that site will be served by interested persons
served up by World ParaGliding Association within the enlarged topic at
"PDMC matters" at
~~ Rick Masters