Hang Gliding Accident Lawsuit in 2024

Hang gliding is an exhilarating adventure sport that offers the thrill of soaring through the sky. However, in the event of an accident, the consequences can be devastating. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a hang gliding accident, it is important that you understand your legal rights and take the necessary steps to make a claim. At Ethen Ostroff Law, we specialize in hang gliding accident lawsuits and are dedicated to helping injured individuals recover and obtain the justice they deserve. Here, we outline the key aspects of hang gliding accident lawsuit providing valuable information and guidance to protect your rights and get fair compensation.

Popularity of Hang Gliding

Hang gliding has gained significant popularity in the United States as an exhilarating and adventurous recreational activity. The sport attracts a diverse community of thrill-seekers, outdoor enthusiasts, and aviation enthusiasts. The factors contributing to the popularity of hang gliding in the US include:

  • Accessibility: Hang gliding is accessible to a wide range of individuals through training facilities, flight parks, and clubs across the country.
  • Scenic Locations: The US offers diverse landscapes for hang gliding, including coastal regions, mountains, and plains, creating stunning backdrops.
  • Sense of Freedom: Hang gliding provides a liberating experience, allowing enthusiasts to glide through the air using natural currents.
  • Community and Camaraderie: Hang gliding has a supportive community where pilots connect, share experiences, and participate in events and competitions.
  • Technological Advancements: Hang gliding equipment has advanced, enhancing safety, performance, and ease of use.
  • Social Media and Online Resources: Enthusiasts connect, share, and access information through social media and online communities.
  • Thrill and Adrenaline Rush: Hang gliding offers an exhilarating rush, combining the thrill of launching, soaring, and maneuvering the glider.

Top Hang Gliding Sites in the US

  • Lookout Mountain Flight Park (Georgia/Tennessee)
  • Kitty Hawk Kites (North Carolina)
  • Torrey Pines Gliderport (California)
  • Point of the Mountain (Utah)
  • Fort Funston (California)
  • Jockey’s Ridge State Park (North Carolina)
  • Dunlap (California)
  • Dockweiler State Beach (California)
  • Wallaby Ranch (Florida)
  • Soboba Flight Park (California)

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Top Hang Gliding Companies in the US

  • Kitty Hawk Kites (North Carolina)
  • Lookout Mountain Flight Park (Tennessee)
  • Torrey Pines Gliderport (La Jolla, California)
  • Wallaby Ranch (Florida)
  • Cloud 9 Hang Gliding (Utah)
  • Oregon Hang Gliding School (Oregon)
  • Lookout Mountain Hang Gliding (Georgia)

Hang Gliding Accidents in the United States

Hang gliding accidents, while relatively rare, do occur in the United States. The United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association reports that there are approximately 4,000 active hang glider pilots in the country. While the sport continues to grow in popularity, the number of accidents remains relatively low compared to other recreational activities.

Hang Gliding Accident Lawsuit

Types of Hang Gliding Accidents

Hang gliding accidents can occur due to various factors and circumstances. Here are some types of hang gliding accidents that can occur:

  • Launching Accidents: Happen during the initial phase of the flight when the pilot takes off. They can result from improper technique, inadequate wind conditions, or equipment failure, leading to loss of control or collisions with obstacles.
  • Landing Accidents: Occur when the pilot attempts to land the hang glider. Factors such as misjudging the approach, strong crosswinds, or uneven terrain can contribute to accidents during the landing phase.
  • Mid-Air Collisions: Involve two or more hang gliders colliding while in flight. These accidents can occur due to pilot error, failure to maintain proper separation or miscommunication between pilots.
  • Structural Failures: Can happen when the hang glider’s components, such as the frame, cables, or harness, fail under stress. This can lead to loss of control, resulting in accidents.
  • Wing Collapse: Occurs when the wing of the hang glider collapses or folds, reducing lift and control. It can be caused by turbulent air conditions, sudden changes in wind direction, or pilot error.
  • Wire Strikes: Happen when the hang glider comes into contact with power lines or other types of wires. This can occur during launching, landing, or while flying at low altitudes near populated areas.
  • Weather-Related Accidents: Hang gliding accidents can also be caused by adverse weather conditions, such as strong winds, thunderstorms, or sudden changes in weather patterns. Pilots need to be aware of and properly prepared for the weather conditions before flying.
  • Equipment Malfunction: Equipment malfunctions, such as failures in the harness, control system, or parachute, can contribute to accidents during hang gliding flights.

Common Causes of Hang Gliding Accidents

Hang gliding accidents can happen due to a variety of factors, such as:

  • Pilot Error: Mistakes made by the pilot during launching, landing, or maneuvering the hang glider can lead to accidents.
  • Weather Conditions: Inclement weather, such as strong winds or sudden changes in weather patterns, can increase the risk of accidents.
  • Inadequate Instruction: Insufficient training and instruction can contribute to accidents, particularly for inexperienced pilots.
  • Negligence of Others: Accidents can occur when instructors, equipment manufacturers, or maintenance personnel act negligently.
  • Equipment Issues: Defects or failures in hang gliding equipment, including the frame, cables, or safety harness, can lead to accidents.
  • Environmental Factors: High winds or thermal turbulence can impact the stability and control of the hang glider.

Types of Hang Gliding Injuries

Hang gliding can expose participants to certain risks, and injuries can occur in various forms. Here are some common types of injuries associated with hang gliding:

  • Fractures: Fractures are a common injury in hang gliding accidents, particularly in the extremities. 
  • Sprains and Strains: Hang gliding puts stress on the body, and sudden movements or landings can result in sprained or strained ligaments, tendons, and muscles, causing pain, swelling, and limited mobility.
  • Contusions and Bruises: Impacts with the ground, objects, or other participants can cause contusions (deep bruises) and superficial bruising. These injuries may result from crashes or mid-air collisions.
  • Head Injuries: Head injuries can occur if a hang glider crashes or collides with an object. They range from minor concussions to more severe traumatic brain injuries.
  • Back and Spinal Injuries: The impact of a crash can place strain on the back and spine, potentially leading to sprains, strains, herniated discs, or even spinal cord injuries. These injuries can have long-lasting effects on mobility and overall function.
  • Shoulder and Rotator Cuff Injuries: The shoulders and rotator cuffs can sustain injuries due to the stress placed on them during hang gliding maneuvers, particularly during rough landings or abrupt movements.
  • Soft Tissue Injuries: Hang gliding accidents can cause damage to soft tissues such as tendons, ligaments, and muscles. These injuries can result in pain, swelling, and limited range of motion.
  • Internal Injuries: In more severe accidents, hang gliders may experience internal injuries to organs or internal bleeding, requiring immediate medical attention.

Essential Hang Gliding Safety Tips

  • Receive certified training to acquire the necessary skills for safe hang gliding.
  • Ensure your hang gliding equipment is of high quality and regularly maintained.
  • Always assess the weather forecast and current conditions before flying.
  • Verify the integrity of your hang glider through a pre-flight inspection.
  • Respect your abilities and avoid attempting maneuvers beyond your capabilities.
  • Maintain situational awareness and avoid distractions while flying.
  • Adhere to the established rules and protocols specific to your flying location.
  • Be prepared for emergencies by knowing and practicing emergency procedures.
  • Whenever possible, have an experienced spotter accompany you during your flight.
  • Maintain good health and fitness to meet the physical demands of hang gliding.

Hang Gliding Safety Regulations and Guidelines in Pennsylvania

Hang gliding laws in Pennsylvania ensure the safety of participants and regulate the activity to minimize risks. Here are some key aspects of hang gliding laws in Pennsylvania:

  • Licensing and Certification: While Pennsylvania doesn’t require specific hang gliding licenses or certifications, proper training is strongly recommended for safety.
  • Access to Flying Sites: Follow the rules and regulations set by landowners or governing bodies of flying sites, including obtaining necessary permits or memberships.
  • Airspace Regulations: Comply with FAA regulations, such as avoiding restricted airspace, respecting altitude limitations, and observing Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs).
  • Weather Conditions: Fly in safe weather conditions and avoid adverse weather like strong winds, storms, or turbulence.  
  • Equipment Requirements: Use well-maintained, airworthy equipment that meets safety standards, including hang gliders, harnesses, and other necessary gear.
  • Liability and Waivers: Hang gliding operators may require participants to sign liability waivers, acknowledging the inherent risks involved in the sport.
  • Reporting Accidents: Report significant hang gliding accidents causing injury or property damage to appropriate authorities and agencies to improve safety practices and data collection.

Liability in Hang Gliding Accidents

Identifying the party responsible for a hang gliding accident is essential when pursuing a legal claim. Liability may lie with the:

  • Hang gliding instructor
  • Equipment manufacturer
  • Maintenance provider 
  • A third party whose negligence contributed to the accident

Steps to Take During and After a Hang Gliding Accident

  • Stay Calm and Assess: Remain calm and assess the situation during and after a hang gliding accident.
  • Seek Medical Attention: Prioritize immediate medical attention for any injuries sustained in the accident.
  • Preserve the Scene: If safe, preserve the accident scene by not moving equipment or objects.
  • Gather Information: Collect important details about the accident, including date, time, location, and weather conditions. Take photos or videos of the scene and damages.
  • Report the Accident: Notify the appropriate authorities, such as law enforcement or regulatory agencies, about the hang gliding accident.
  • Contact an Attorney: Consult with an experienced hang gliding accident attorney to understand your legal options.
  • Preserve Evidence: Keep evidence like equipment, photographs, medical records, and witness contact information.
  • Follow Medical Advice: Adhere to medical advice and treatment plans provided by healthcare professionals.
  • Notify Insurance Companies: Inform your insurance company about the accident and cooperate with their investigation.
  • Document Damages: Keep records of expenses related to the accident, such as medical bills and lost wages.
  • Consult Legal Counsel: Seek guidance from your hang gliding accident attorney to understand your rights and determine the best course of action.

Steps in Filing a Hang Gliding Accident Lawsuit

Hang gliding accident lawsuit can arise whenever an individual experiences injuries or damages due to a hang gliding accident. These lawsuits are typically initiated by the injured party or their legal representative to seek compensation for their losses. To pursue a hang gliding accident lawsuit, there are several essential steps involved. These steps include:

  • Seek Immediate Medical Attention and Document Injuries: Ensure your well-being by promptly seeking medical help and documenting your injuries for legal purposes.
  • Conduct Investigation and Gather Evidence: Thoroughly investigate the accident, and gather relevant evidence such as reports, testimonies, and records.
  • Negotiate with Insurance Companies: Let Ethen Ostroff Law handle negotiations with insurance companies to secure fair compensation.
  • File a Lawsuit and Prepare for Trial: If needed, Ethen Ostroff Law will file a lawsuit and diligently prepare for trial, including research and strategizing.
  • Discovery Process: Exchange information and evidence with the opposing party through depositions, interrogatories, and document requests.
  • Settlement Negotiation or Trial: Your attorney will negotiate for a settlement or proceed to trial, presenting your case to a judge or jury.
  • Case Resolution: The case will be resolved through a settlement or court judgment, resulting in compensation for damages.

Compensation Options for Hang Gliding Accident Victims

Consulting with an experienced hang gliding accident lawyer, like those at Ethen Ostroff Law and its partner firms, is crucial to determine the specific compensation options available based on your circumstances. Hang gliding injury compensation options include:

  • Medical Expenses: Victims may cover medical bills, treatment, and rehabilitation costs.
  • Lost Wages: Victims may be eligible for compensation to cover lost wages during their recovery period.
  • Pain and Suffering: Compensation may be available to address the physical and emotional suffering experienced as a result of the hang gliding accident.
  • Disability and Impairment: Those with long-term or permanent disabilities may receive compensation for the impact on their quality of life and earning capacity.
  • Property Damage: Compensation can help repair or replace damaged personal property, such as hang gliding equipment.
  • Wrongful Death: Surviving family members may be eligible for hang gliding accident compensation to cover funeral expenses, loss of financial support, and emotional distress.
  • Punitive Damages: In cases of extreme negligence, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the responsible party and discourage similar behavior.

Hang Gliding Lawsuits and Accidents in the US

  • In a lawsuit brought by Justine and Johnny Childress, Lookout Mountain Flight Park, Inc. and the Estate of William Edgar Worthey are defendants. The case involves the accidental death of William Worthey, who crashed his hang glider into the plaintiffs’ parked recreational vehicle. Justine Childress has filed a claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress, and Johnny Childress has brought a derivative claim for loss of consortium.
  • Harrison Moorhead, an instructor, and Arys Moorhead, an 11-year-old from Farmington, New Mexico, were killed in a hang gliding crash near Jean, Nevada in March 2015. A subsequent investigation revealed that the instructor did not have the proper permits to be flying in that location, and his business wasn’t licensed in the counties in which it was operating.
  • Scott Howard sued Mission Soaring, a hang gliding company based in Milpitas, CA, after sustaining injuries in a hang gliding crash in 2013. The accident occurred during a tow at Mission Soaring when the release pin of the hang glider Howard was in failed to release, causing him to remain attached to the tow cable. In his lawsuit, filed in May 2015, Howard alleged that Mission Soaring, owner Patrick Denevan, and instructor Harold Johnson owed him a duty of care in equipment maintenance, as well as in the selection, hiring, and supervision of company employees.

Choosing Ethen Ostroff Law

Hang gliding accidents can result in severe injuries and significant financial burdens. By partnering with Ethen Ostroff Law, you can rest assured knowing that you have a dedicated legal team fighting for your rights and seeking fair hang gliding injury compensation on your behalf. 

Contact Ethen Ostroff Law today at 610-510-8883 or submit form. for a free consultation. Trust us to navigate the complexities of your hang gliding accident lawsuit, ensuring you receive the justice and compensation you deserve.

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