Friday 18th April (Good Friday) - I was the first to arrive at Fochriw with Phil and Mark following me. The wind was around 15 - 18mph and we had some good flying but, as the morning wore on, the wind died off and we were just left with some good thermals followed by the inevitable sink.
Two paraglider guys turned up and proceeded to set up and launch in the same area as we were in.
Mark had a mouldie up in the air and I had my Wildthing and we were both sinking fast. I was heading back to the slope ridge from the left and didn't have enough height to fly behind me for a conventional landing, intending to just plonk it down in front of me but, without any warning, I saw the second paraglider launching from my left less that 10 metres away and straight into the path of my Wildthing, which, hit him in the leg.
The paraglider headed off to the right and eventually came to a landing further along the ridge as he had launched straight into the sink that I was trying to get out of. He walked back towards the parked cars and I asked him if he was alright. "No I'm not", he retorted angrily and an argument about whose fault it was ensued.
Fortunately no damage was done, to people or equipment. I have since been in touch with the Safety Officer of the South East Wales Paragiding club and a meeting between us will happen very soon.
This isn't the first time we have had issues with paragliders but mostly they have tried to intimidate us to force us to leave so that they can have the slope to themselves but, this is the first time there has been a collision, though I have always known that it was inevitable that a collision would happen eventually.
For any other groups reading this who have had issues with paragliders, please take a look at this link from BHPA/BMFA Operating Code: and get into dialogue with your local BHPA club so that both groups can play happily together.
About A470 Soaring
This is the blog for a few guys who spend their time flying radio controlled gliders, or slope soarer's, from the many and varied slopes around SE Wales.
This usually begins at the northern end of Cardiff, driving north up the A470 up to the Heads of the Valley's and the southern fringe of the Brecon Beacons. But the A470 road continues its windy way all the way to N Wales.
There are many slopes available for most wind directions, the most famous being the area between Nant-y-Moel and Treorchi known as The Bwlch, which has some of the best slopes and flying in Europe with many F3F competitions being held there each year and visited by many fliers from Europe and around the world. At 1500 feet (450m) above sea level, there is usually more wind than not, and certainly more than at sea level.
If you require any further information, are new to slope soaring or are visiting the area, please contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org . I look forward to hearing from you.
Take a look at Page 2 (look below and to the left here) for Google maps of our most popular Flying Sites.