Aviation Accident Lawyer - Is Hang Gliding Safe?
In the U.S. there have been tragic accidents involving hang gliding companies and pilots that lacked proper certification
Hang gliders are a popular site in tourist destinations around the world—especially areas with an abundance of natural beauty and stunning scenery. From the Caribbean to the Big Apple, the winged craft give people a bird’s eye view of the world below. In many cases, hang gliding companies offer rides in traditional hang gliders, as well as hang gliders pulled by boats on the water.
But just how safe is hang gliding as an activity? More importantly, is the industry subject to government regulations that enforce minimum requirements for equipment, instructor certification, and safety? The answer might surprise you.
If you have been injured in a hang gliding incident at home or on vacation, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and other damages. Protect your legal rights by speaking to an aviation accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Regulation of the Hang Gliding Industry
In the United States, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has oversight of the hang gliding industry. The regulations that pertain to hang gliding are found in Federal Aviation Regulation part 103—Ultralight Vehicles. Part 103 gives the U.S. Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association (USHPA) the authority to set standards for pilots and equipment. The USHPA also offers training programs for pilots and passengers who wish to fly tandem with a hang glider pilot.
However, these standards only apply to hang gliding tour companies located in the U.S. When you travel overseas, it’s important to understand that other countries have their own rules for hang gliding companies—and some countries may have minimal rules or a complete absence of regulation.
Even in the U.S., there have been tragic accidents involving hang gliding companies and pilots that lacked proper certification. In a 2015 crash in Nevada, a hang glider pilot and his 11-year-old tandem passenger were killed when their hang glider crashed over a dry lake bed south of Las Vegas. An investigation revealed that the pilot was not licensed to fly a hang glider, nor did the hang gliding company have a permit to operate in the area.
If you choose to hang glide, make sure you thoroughly investigate the company offering the tour. Don’t be afraid to ask to see verification of the company’s credentials or those of its pilots. Your safety is a priority, and any reputable company should be willing to confirm that it possesses the proper permits and certifications.
New York City Aviation Accident Law Firm
Because hang gliders are not motorized aircraft, they are not heavily regulated by the FAA. In a crash, the FAA plays a minimal role, especially in cases where the hang glider is pulled by a vehicle. These can be complicated cases that involve multiple investigatory authorities. Protect your rights by working with an experienced aviation accident lawyer.
Call New York City airline accident lawyer, Jonathan C. Reiter, to get a free case evaluation today. You can reach us through our online contact form, or by calling 866-324-9211.
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Source: Jonathan C. Reiter Law Firm, PLLC