Man suffers broken neck in crash with paraglider

A SPECTATOR has suffered a broken neck after a paraglider crashed into him at the Australian Paramotoring Championships held in Gloucester over the Easter long weekend, police said.

The accident occurred about 9am on Friday, April 18 when one of the competitors lost control of his paraglider while attempting an aerial manoeuvre in the skies above Gloucester Aero Club.

Competitors in powered paragliding use ordinary parachutes propelled by petrol-powered fans to gain elevation and for forward propulsion.

The competitor was attempting to fly his powered glider to a point about 100m above a 4m square target.

When he reached the desired height the glider turned off the power to his petrol-powered fan and began to drift down towards the target on the ground.

However, a sudden gust of wind blew the glider of course and the man drifted into a nearby spectator area where he clipped an awning and crashed into a fellow competitor standing on the ground.

The glider was uninjured but the other man suffered serious injuries and was transported to John Hunter Hospital where he was later diagnosed with a 'fracture to the spine in the neck and a contusion to the back of the head', according to police.

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