10 Things That Can Go Wrong in Air Sports


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Landing Errors
A bad landing can lead to injury or death.
A bad landing can lead to injury or death.
Hemera/Thinkstock

While most potential air sports disasters happen in the air, there is just as much potential for failure on the ground. Landing can be a tricky beast to master and consistently causes problems and fatalities with nearly all the air sports. More than half of all accidents in hang gliding take place during landing [source: FAA Academy].

If you're coming in at a bad angle, it can cause problems for a craft or a parachute. Usually it will just result in a hard landing and a few bruises. However, these mistakes can cause bigger problems, including broken limbs, concussions and even death. Most skydiving fatalities are caused by improper or hard landings [source: Dropzone].

We already mentioned landing gear malfunction as a major problem with aircraft, but even if the gear deploys properly, the craft's angle is incredibly important. Such errors can result in serious harm to the pilot as well as spectators.

To learn more about air sports, continue to the next page.

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Sources

  • AAP. "Mid-air crash claims life of experienced skydiver Fiona McEachern." The Australian. Sept. 27, 2010. (Oct. 4, 2010).http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/mid-air-clash-claims-life-of-experienced-skydiver-fiona-mceachern/story-e6frg6nf-1225929900348
  • AP. "Woman Falls to Death From Hot Air Balloon." CBS News. Oct. 8, 2007. (Oct. 7, 2010).http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/10/08/national/main3344278.shtml
  • AP. "Four Die as Balloon Hits Tower in Ohio." NY Times. Dec. 12, 1990. (Oct. 7, 2010).http://www.nytimes.com/1990/12/12/us/4-die-as-balloon-hits-tower-in-ohio.html
  • Air Sports Net. "Backwoods Landing." Nov. 20, 2008. (Oct. 5, 2010).http://www.usairnet.com/2008/11/backwoods-landing/
  • Air sports TV. (Oct 5, 2010).http://www.airsports.tv/
  • Associated Press. "Another Fatal Crash At Reno Air Races." Fox Reno. Sept. 14, 2007. (Oct. 5, 2010).http://www.foxreno.com/news/14116133/detail.html
  • Californian Dreamin. "Passenger Assumption of Risk and Release of Liability Agreement with California Dreamin." (Oct. 7, 2010).http://www.californiadreamin.com/externals/24/017db9023cea8531795bb2d0a5975d811f4115.doc
  • Cowl, Clayton, MD. "Factors Associated With Fatalities and Injuries From Hot-Air Balloon Crashes." The Journal of the American Medical Association. 1998. (Oct. 7, 2010).http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/279/13/1011
  • Dropzone. "Emergency Canopy Malfunctions." (Oct. 5, 2010).http://www.dropzone.com/safety/emergencies/emergency_canopy_malfunctions.shtml
  • Dropzone. "Fatalities." (Oct. 5, 2010).http://www.dropzone.com/fatalities/
  • FAA. "General Aviation Pilot's Guide to Preflight Weather Planning, Weather Self-Briefings, and Weather Decision Making." Dec. 2009. (Oct. 7, 2010).
  • FAA Academy. "International Journal of Applied Aviation Studies." Winter, 2008. (Oct. 6, 2010).
  • FacWorld. "Hot Air Balloon Losses." (Oct. 5, 2010)
  • Fédération Aéronautique Internationale. About Us. (Oct. 5, 2010).http://www.fai.org/about
  • Goyer, Norm. "Air Sports: the complete guide to aviation adventure." McGraw-Hill. 2003.
  • Medicine Net. "Fainting Symptoms." (Oct. 6, 2010).http://www.medicinenet.com/fainting/symptoms.htm
  • Hobbes, Nicholas. "A look at our most dangerous sports." The Times. May 10, 2009. (Oct. 7, 2010).http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/more_sport/article6250441.ece
  • Knoll, Corina. "Pilot killed in hang glider crash during San Bernardino aerobatics contest." LA Times. June 7, 2010. (Oct. 5, 2010).http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2010/06/pilot-killed-in-hang-glider-crash-san-bernardino.html
  • Lyons, Patrick. "Three Fatal Crashes in Four Days at Reno Air Show." New York Times. Sept. 16, 2007. (Oct. 7, 2010).http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/09/14/three-fatal-crashes-in-four-days-at-reno-air-show/
  • National Transportation Safety Board. "U.S. Air Carrier Operations Calendar Year 2006." NTSB. April 5, 2010. (Oct. 6, 2010).http://www.ntsb.gov/publictn/2006/ARC0601.pdf

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