Fortunately serious accidents in our sport are not as common as you may think, but due to the nature of flying, when they do occur they may be of a serious nature. If you are involved in, or witness a flying related accident or indeed any accident on the hill you will need to keep your wits about you and try to act calmly and rationally.
Ensure that someone responsible has taken charge of the situation and if this is not the case then assume responsibility yourself.
It is a legal requirement and your duty as a BHPA member to report air incidents. Fatal or potentially fatal incidents must be reported to the BHPA, Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) and Police immediately. Serious incidents should be reported to the BHPA as soon as possible and in all cases an incident report should be submitted to the BHPA within 48 hours using forms at on the BHPA website https://contact.bhpa.co.uk/incident.php This can be done on-line or by downloading the form and filling it in.
If you are a witness yourself, try to obtain all the witness’s names and contact details and if possible ask them what they saw as soon as it is safe to do so. Try to discourage group discussions of the incident prior to statements being obtained as it is easy to create false memories of what occurred.
If an air ambulance has been called, please ask as many participants on the hill to ensure that all pilots are aware of the situation and that flying is discontinued until the air ambulance has fully left the airspace. Ensure that any newcomers to the hill that may not have witnessed the incident are made aware that an incident has occurred and to refrain from setting up or flying until it is safe to do so.
Incident reporting is very important both in terms of legality should a case be brought about at a later date as well as accurate reporting by the BHPA.
The BHPA makes the following points;
Please report an incident you have witnessed or been involved in if it:
Involves injury, whether to participants or others
Involves damage to property, third party or not
May give rise to an insurance or legal claim
Involves non-standard equipment or techniques
Involves failed or malfunctioned equipment
Highlights safety points or was unusual
Is something you feel the sport may learn from
If an incident occurs on a Sky Surfers Site that involves safety, whether flying related or not, please contact me by email on firstname.lastname@example.org or if urgent on 07768224444 Robert Ager – Club Safety Officer