Deutscher Hängegleiterverband e.V.
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Declaration of loss of airworthiness

SubjectHang Glider harnesses with velcro closings on the integrated parachute container

Following a fatal aerotow accident the initial investigations into the accident have yielded the following course of events which led up to the accident:
during take of, at a height of approx. 20 meters, a flap of the external parachute container integrated into the harness and only held closed with a velcro strip became open. The parachute fell out over the front of the control bar. The tightening connection bridle pulled the control bar backwards and the hang glider crashed to the ground.

The harness was an OK Integral (fish-typ looking) from the company Keller Martigny S.A, SHV Type test 011-83. With regards to the parachute container there are well founded doubts as to the airworthiness of this harness, which was tested in 1983. According to today’s construction regulations it must not be possible for the parachute to become free on its own accord. A simple velcro closure can not provide this guarantee without an additional cotterpin system. The same holds for other harnesses with unsecured velcro closure.

Therefore the DHV has reached the following safety measures in accordance with § 25 of the operating regulations for equipment used in flight:

  • All hangglider harnesses which have integrated parachute containers closed by velcro without an additional cotterpin system are declared to be unsuitable for flight with immediate effect if the emergency container is used.


The use of the harness is still permitted if the the integrated external parachute container is not used, and instead, the external container associated to the parachute is attached to the harness in a proficient manner and has the additional security of an cotterpin.

Independent there of this airworthiness clarification will be cancelled if proof of airworthiness is shown in a design test – for example after a design change.

Gmund, 17.04.2000

Klaus Tänzler

Managing Director