Emergency services respond to paraglider crashes two days in a row

OPERATION: Bright SES and members of the Victorian Search and Rescue squad lower down a Chinese pilot who crashed near Gundowring. Pictures: BRIGHT SES
OPERATION: Bright SES and members of the Victorian Search and Rescue squad lower down a Chinese pilot who crashed near Gundowring. Pictures: BRIGHT SES

The organisers of the Bright Paragliding Open have praised the emergency services who came to the aid of two paragliders who crashed into bush near Gundowring on Monday evening.

It comes as another event participant sustained serious injuries following a crash on Tuesday afternoon.

BPA event organiser Brian Webb said police and SES responded quickly on Monday after the alarm was raised.

“One pilot is in hospital, he’s a visiting American pilot who’s hurt his back but he’s doing alright, and the second accident involved a Chinese pilot who misjudged his glide and landed in trees,” he said.

“Both pilots had satellite trackers; they could pin-point their location exactly.

“We’re still reviewing the conditions that could have caused this … the weather was within the parameters we operate in … we think at least one incident was pilot error.”

The American pilot became a priority as he needed access to medication for a condition.

OKAY: The man, who told SES he lost lift as he came over the ridgeline, walked out alongside police.

OKAY: The man, who told SES he lost lift as he came over the ridgeline, walked out alongside police.

Police and SES then worked to find the Chinese pilot who had crashed in dense bush, about 500 metres off the 4WD Murphys Track.

Bright Deputy Controller Marcus Warner said he was stuck 15 metres above the ground but was thankfully unhurt.

“He was in good spirits, he had been up there for six hours,” he said.

“The Victoria Police airwing flew up and dropped two search and rescue members off who then hiked in with our crew.

“Once they were on scene we could conduct a safe lower.

TEAM: Multiple units responded to reports of three accidents and Bright SES assisted with a serious crash in Bright on Tuesday.

TEAM: Multiple units responded to reports of three accidents and Bright SES assisted with a serious crash in Bright on Tuesday.

“The rescue was straightforward; we slingshot a line up over the tree and then set a second line up for his harness.”

Multiple SES, CFA and Victoria Police units from across the region assisted well into the night.

Bright SES Deputy Controller Graham Gales said SES responded to another accident about 2.15pm on Tuesday afternoon at Tawonga Gap Road in Bright.

“The pilot fell out of the sky and onto the ground and was severely injured,” he said.

“He was flown straight to Royal Melbourne Hospital.

“We don’t know exactly why, there has been some problems with rising thermals and some of the problems might be attributed to that.”

An Ambulance Victoria spokeswoman said the man in his 60s was flown in a serious condition “with suspected spinal and neck injuries and upper body fractures”.