July 19, 2020
In a tragic accident in France, the pilot and passenger of a tandem died after one side of the struts below the carabiners tore in flight. Tandem struts with torn carabiner suspension. // Source: DHV, FFVL It is an accident of a kind that has so far been unique in the history of paragliding. Broken lines, broken carabiners, torn line hangers, all of this has already happened in terms of material failure. It is a tragic novelty, however, that a tandem strut, which typically consists of very strong belt material, tears. And that draws attention to the causes, from which you can learn something for your own safety. Apparently the tandem pilot was on the move with material that was clearly getting old. The lesson from this: Even tandem spreaders can age and then lose significant strength. The French association FFVL now recommends all tandem pilots to subject their spreaders to an in-depth visual inspection or to have this carried out by a professional check company and to replace the spreads if they show signs of wear. It is also recommended to renew a spread after five years or 500 hours of use. The DHV also takes up the topic on its website: "Loss of strength due to aging and wear is always present with older tandem spreaders", it says there. The DHV also recommends a thorough visual inspection of older struts. He also gives a hint: Spreads, as part of the paraglider, are subject to inspection every two years. Are all tandem pilots aware of this?
This article has been translated for your convenience and was originally written in alemán.
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