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July 14, 1975

Injuries Associated With Hang Gliding

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Denver General Hospital and the University of Colorado Medical School, Denver.

JAMA. 1975;233(2):158-160. doi:10.1001/jama.1975.03260020044023

TEN THOUSAND people currently engage in hang gliding or sky-sailing as it is sometimes termed.1 The main centers for this new sport are the cliffs of Southern California near the sea and the mountains of Colorado. By nature, soaring on a kite launched by running downhill and remaining aloft at the pleasure of the wind is a high-risk operation. This, as far as we know, is the first definition of the injuries that occur in this sport and of reasonable precautions to minimize such injuries.

Fatal Accidents 

Case 1.—  On Nov 24, 1973, an instructor and designer for Chandelle Sky Sail of Colorado sustained fatal injuries when his "modern standard sail" went into a stall configuration and then a steep dive while he was gliding off the north aspect of Green Mountain immediately west of Denver. He had apparently understood that this craft had poor dive-recovery characteristics, and had