Paragliders plunge to their deathsSeptember 2, 2010
On New Years Eve David Mather, 28, was visiting his brother in the province of Salta in the North-West of Argentina. Together they went with a best friend to take some lessons in paragliding, but soon what seemed like an exciting adventure turned into a nightmare. David Mather’s best friend had completed a successful glide only minutes before and Mather was preparing himself for his own first lesson. However it was clear something was wrong almost as soon as Mather and his inexperienced instructor launched their paraglider. Witnesses said that Mather began to shout desperately almost as soon as they took off and his instructor attempted to hold onto him, but in vain. Apparently the harness had slipped and Mather was not hooked up correctly. He fell 130feet and died on impact, landing in a garden. Although paramedics arrived quickly they were unable to save him and his family is accusing the paragliding firm of negligence.
Earlier this month another man was killed in a similar accident, involving a paramotorer-a hang-glider with a motor. Sergeant Paul McGough had finished his four day course with the Sky School of Flight Course and was due to fly to Dubai, but he agreed to do another flight. He successfully completed two 360 degree turns and was attempting a third, but it was much tighter and an advanced manoeuvre which he had not discussed with his instructor. His instructor told him to put his hands up and decelerate in order to recover the wing shape, but it is quite possible that due to the wind-noise McGough was unable to hear the instructions on his radio. The paramotors engine cut out and McGough entered a 1,200 foot spin to earth where he died on impact. The 41year old father of four was part of the Special Boat Service and led a team of seven in one of the bloodiest and highly decorated missions in the service’s history; a 3 day siege on Afghanistan’s Qala-i-Jangi jail where prisoners had run riot, cornering CIA agent David Dawson while he was questioning them.