Latest Safety Notices

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Quick Out safety notice - Don't be an idiot...

Quick‐Out carabiner safety notice ‐ 7. December 2016

Dear customers,

On 15 November 2016, the faulty assembly of a Quick‐Out carabiner lead to its accidental opening. The pilot had dismounted both of the Quick‐Out's release buttons and later re‐installed them in swapped positions.
Swapping the release buttons is dangerous to life. In our instruction manual, we hence point out that the release button located on the opposite side of the installation slot must not be dismounted when attaching the carabiner to the harness. It may only be removed for cleaning purposes after the carabiner had been exposed to salt water. However, to prevent swapping the release buttons, only one button at a time may be dismounted!
There are approx. 16.000 Quick‐Out carabiners in circulation. As unfortunately not all pilots are aware of the fact that non‐compliance with instruction manuals is dangerous ‐ particularly in aviation ‐ we would hereby like to point this out again. The Quick‐Out carabiner's instruction manual can be downloaded anytime from the "Downloads" section of our website.

The image on the left shows a Quick‐Out carabiner with improperly installed release buttons.

The release buttons have been swapped!

To install the carabiner at the harness, only the button located on the side of the installation slot needs to be removed

Finsterwalder GmbH • Pagodenburgstr.8 • D‐81247 München

Tel.: +49 89 8116528 • Mail: office@finsterwalder‐ • www.finsterwalder‐

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Gin Carabiners

A faulty gin carabiner has been brought to my attention.

The internal spring has become displaced or suchlike such that it appears to close but has not actually engaged with the locking pin. See picture.

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Lightness 2 Lumbar strap

A lightness two lumbar strap failed in flight recently.
The harness in question had been SIv'd and had a few hours on it but was not in generally worn condition.
Please check your lumbar straps where they pass through the adjustment buckles.

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Sup'Air harness buckles - no doubt other brands to follow. Different buckle to previous S/N

Unfortunately only in French at present:

Approximately translated as 'the safety T lock buckles numbered in the S/N have opened unpredictably in flight. The fault is not visible. stop flying any harness so equipped now...'

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Acro in front of launch

Performing aerobatics over or in front of launch is a really great way to demonstrate that you are an incompetent muppet.

Take off, clear launch.

If you wish to perform acro, find an empty part of the sky well away from any launch or landing areas. Then confine yourself to that area until you wish to return to normal flight.

Check that the airspace is clear before approaching any landing area. join any landing pattern in an orderly manner. Do not spiral or wagga your way to the front of the queue.

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Finsterwalder CLICK-LOCK and T-LOCK buckles in the chest strap

DHV flying ban for many harnesses, several of which are not listed specifically below.

The DHV have grounded a large number of harnesses with chest straps using automatic T-lock and Click-lock buckles (HSi10) made by the company, Finsterwalder Charly. This concerns numerous harnesses made by Advance, Ava-Sports, Apco, Finsterwalder & Charly, Karpofly, Sky Paragliders, Skytrekking, Sol and Woody Valley, as well as some harnesses used for paramotoring.

The DHV have issued a Safety Notice, legally binding in Germany, to stop using harnesses thus equipped, at the latest, four years after their production or, to be more precise, since the final control when they left the factory. The owners of such harnesses are asked to contact the manufacturer.

This knee jerk reaction was no doubt, triggered by the fatal accident involving a Polish pilot at the beginning of May in addition to another incident during a SAT. In both cases, the automatic Click-lock buckles apparently opened under load. The T-locks haven’t been involved in an incident yet but their design is identical to the Click-locks.

The problem, according to the DHV, is the repetitive loading on these buckles or, more precisely, the cycles of diagonal load/unload which can, over a long time, wear out this piece of equipment. As a consequence, opening unexpectedly when loaded diagonally, can’t be ruled out.

This only applies to the chest buckles, which are loaded and unloaded, unlike the buckles on the thigh straps which have hardly any pressure on them in flight. For buckles which are subjected to static, non cyclical load, the manufacturer has specified a 10 year life (the normal length of time in Germany).

It is thought (and special care should be taken with this information which isn’t in the DHV statement), that the risk could in particular concern harnesses with ‘Get-Up’ type fastenings with two waist buckles. In flight they are regularly loaded and then unloaded. If one of them releases, there is a high risk of falling out.

An English version of the DHV’s statement can be read here:

In the past three months, there have been two incidents involving older paraglider harnesses equipped with CLICK-LOCK buckles (HSi10) in the chest strap. The buckles had opened unintentionally during flight while they were under load. In one of the cases this happened during a SAT maneuver (spreading of the chest strap due to the pilot resting on the riser), in the other case the reason was presumably the load applied by the body weight of the pilot who was hanging only in the leg straps.

Finsterwalder has conducted a technical investigation and found the following: The hooks of the metal tongue can wear out through the frequent diagonal load changes the chest strap is subject to. This might lead to decreased load capacity and – in the case of sufficiently high diagonal load transmission – the buckle might open unintentionally.
As a consequence of this finding, Finsterwalder has limited the respective buckles’ service time to 4 years if they are used in paraglider chest straps. The harness manufacturers have already been informed accordingly.

To date, there have been no unintentional openings of T-LOCK buckles. However, since their mechanism resembles that of CLICK-LOCK buckles, the problem is likely to be the same.

Finsterwalder calls on all owners of harnesses equipped with CLICK-LOCKs (HSi10) or T-LOCKs in the chest strap to determine their buckles’ previous usage time by checking the routine test date on the sample inspection label. If this date indicates a usage time of more than 4 years, the harness is not airworthy for now and may not be used for flying anymore. Affected owners should contact their harness manufacturer.

The service time limitation applies only to CLICK-LOCK and T-LOCK buckles that are used in paraglider chest straps. When used for applications where only static loads are involved, the CLICK-LOCK and T-LOCK buckles’ service life is 10 years.

The following harness manufacturers have used the mentioned buckles in one or more of their models: Advance, AVA Sport, APCO, Finsterwalder & Charly, KARPO FLY, SKY Paragliders, SkyTrekking, SOL, Woody Valley. Besides the buckles are used in paramotor harnesses of several manufacturers.

Finsterwalder GmbH
81247 München


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Skyman Emotion and Independence Looping harnesses.

We had a skyman emotion harness tear the airbag skyman when the reserve was deployed and the velcro tunnel for the bridle did not open fully.

The temporary recommendation is to open the velcro tunnel and extract the bridle from the parachute container to the curve at the hip.

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Hang-gliding harnesses with back plates - Updated safety notice

Ref. no.: FSC.SC13 amended British Hang Gliding Date: 02/2016 Pages: 1 (Pink) and Paragliding Association Ltd
8 Merus Court
Meridian Business Park Leicester
LE19 1RJ
Tel: 0116 2894 316 Fax: 0116 289 8741
Issued by Angus Pinkerton - Chairman of the Flying & Safety Committee 15 February, 2016.
All Hang Glider Pilots must READ, DIGEST AND TAKE ACTION on the contents of this Notice and keep it for future reference.
This notice will remain available on the BHPA website and in the Technical manual.

Hang-gliding harnesses with back plates
In 2015 a BHPA member suffered severe injuries as a result of a poor landing on his flex-wing hang-glider. The investigation on the incident found that there were several factors that contributed to this accident. The main factor was found to be the decision of the pilot to make the final approach and flare with his hands positioned on the base bar of the glider, rather than on the uprights of the control frame.

A significant factor in this decision was that the harness being used featured an articulated back –plate design, which offers significant resistance to the pilot when trying to rotate upright and change their grip. Several models of high–performance harnesses have similar characteristics.

Whilst subsequent testing confirmed that this harness was not faulty in any way, the design does require significant effort and a corresponding reduction in control during the rotation process, and for this reason several pilots have routinely preferred to perform a landing approach without rotating upright until the last moment.

Pilots are advised that making a landing approach, particularly in very light wind conditions without rotating into the upright position is potentially very hazardous, and considerably more likely to result in injury in the case of a failed landing than if the pilot is vertical and gripping the control frame uprights.

All harnesses should be set up so that rotation is easy and all pilots should adopt the upright position in good time during approach.
The use of base bar wheels is also strongly recommended.

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What Hugh saw...

I was out for a walk late this afternoon at Beachy head and within the space of 10 minutes saw one pilot top land two metres away from a 3 year old and his family on the footpath (after nearly landing on another walker), then saw another pilot get a low collapse through poor pitch control / very old glider and get dragged, reserve out, across the top. Both were fine, and understood what had happened after talking to them, but this just wasn't the place to be practising low level soaring with so many walkers and young families around. Either incident could have been very serious. Honestly I was watching the 3 people flying just thinking, 'something is going to go very wrong here very soon' and I don't often think that... and it did. I think there needs to be an explicit rule around avoiding the footpath and definitely not landing on the shoulder to the right where the bench is, and often several people. Also, from what I saw today, maybe some pilots just don't get how quickly things can go wrong.... maybe more work needs to be done here. Or to spell it out YOU CAN'T SOAR A FEW FEET ABOVE WALKERS' HEADS. Happy to help if I can (think I'm still a club coach though may have lapsed). Hugh Miller, Copied from Facebook

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Finsterwalder buckles with red push button release.

See attached pdf. Several harness brands could be affected.