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PDMC matters
ongoing project by all interested persons.
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Paraglider Dead-Man's Curve

Reverberations of Mythology 2012               Rick Masters   

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."




Rick Masters
Mythology of the Airframe

  • Original and yet main site:  CometClones       
    >May 2012, special change in that site.
    Generalize link leading to banter:   
    • Sectors of that site:
      == Visitor space
      == Purpose space
      == MAP
      == List of those who have died in paragliding with some citations.
      == Incomplete-data-stating space
      == Fables of HG
      == Commentary by the site owner
      == Annual sums have a space
      == collection of quotes people have made about the site
      == collection of quotes people have made about the author himself
      == R.M.'s opinions
      == Headlines
      == Main headline
      == year 2002 has a page for that year's data points. ==
      Similarly for each year to the present year. All those
      sections seem to get changes as new information arrives to
      the author; that is, the pages seems to open to change.
      == The space of mention of "airframe" seems to have been
      == A space of comparison develops some where airframed hang gliders  are compare with non-airframed gliders.
      == A subspace of comment about the qualities of discourse that occurs in ParaglidingForum
      == The site has a PDMC sector.
      == What is NOT counted.
      == What IS counted.
      == Aspect of openness to data change.
      == Who cares?
      == Site statistics
      == Videos of some incidents
      == Citations of data points; many hyperlinked citations
      == (_________?_____________)

      [[Anyone identifying other sectors of that site are invited to send in a description.]]
  • Some posts on other sites by Rick Masters related to PDMC
Study in preamble to the PDMC
  • Free fall and efforts to distinguish the use of the term in distinct circumstances: wiki   That is, "free fall " does not mean the same thing in some distinct scenes. Confusions may result when parties are analyzing matters without the same definitions for terms used in conversation. 
  • Helicities in windfields
  • Turbulence
  • Active air
  • Shape implications of string-formed and string-controlled soft canopy within turbulence within PDMC
Contributing volunteer opportunities
  • Become a club reporter
  • Become a national reporter
  • Have professional statistics training? Perform studies over raw data.
  • Creative thinker? Design solutions related to the PDMC.
  • Mathematician? Help to polish the PDMC.
  • Aerodynamicist?  Help to refine the PDMC.
  • Sharpen the data points by doing research over one data point or more. Feed the data to WPGA at editor@worldparaglidingassociation.org  and also to CometClones.
Psycho Piggies            Sept. 19, 2011

Hi Joe,                                                 

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." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denial

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 killed."

#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 serious"
#37 "his statistics are likely bull****"+"surely not down as much as he indicates"+"not much use"
#43 " 2010-48 death, doesnt mean ANYTHING"

This form of denial involves avoiding personal responsibility by blaming - a direct statement shifting culpability and may overlap with denial of fact.

#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 made-up" mind."
#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."

#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?"
#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"

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 launch."
#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 serious.

#8 "I feel honoured. I now have direct quotes on Rick Masters and HWMNBM's web sites"

#18 "Where are these complacent pilots that you speak of so knowledgeably?"
#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 about paragliding."
#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 knowledge"
#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"
#57 "unabomber"
#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 manufacturer."

#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 bothers with."

#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 large."

#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 Mario DeLuca 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 http://www.energykitesystems.net/WPGA/PDMC/index.html  "

~~ Rick Masters


PDMC Reserve  
Sep 22
- Driven by the high taxpayer cost of search party and helicopter rescues, the
Veneto Region of Italy enacted legislation on September 6 to fine seriously injured high-risk sports participants up to 700 euros for air/ground intervention. However, following complaints that the service is being increasingly abused, a rescued party judged not seriously injured enough to warrant such costly rescue will be fined a maximum of 7,500 euros. (Residents of the Veneto Region will receive a 20% discount.) Rock climbers, skiers, cavers, rafters, mountain bikers, snowmobilers, hang glider pilots and hikers can all thank paraglider pilots for causing this action to become law, driven by countless examples of increasing paragliding carnage such as 30 crashes requiring rescues within seven months -- all within the vicinity of one town, Borso del Grappa. This Plague of Paragliders is not restricted to Italy. Exactly a year ago, a report from Slovenia complained "Already at the end of July we reported that this year the accident statistics for paragliders are quite black. The Mountain Rescue from Tolmin, (one of the most popular places for paragliding in Slovenia), has reported 31 accidents. For comparison, last year only 32 accidents happened during the entire year." European countries with free air-rescue policies have been a magnet for paragliding. But judging from reports I have received through private contacts, there is a growing anger among European search and Rescue organizations toward a widespread lack of responsibility among paraglider pilots. The Veneto Region's action, drafted in part by the mountain rescue service of Belluno, is only the tip of the iceberg. Free emergency rescue services will soon become a thing of the past in many popular European paragliding venues.
http://www.cometclones.com/mythology2011.htm               ~~Rick Masters
[ ] Did Russia's Vladimir Putin injured his back in his PPG crane stunt?