Lucky escape for paraglider

02:32, Jan 30 2014
ough Rescue Helicopter
DOWN TO EARTH: Emergency services workers attend the scene of a crash landing near Takaka Hill on Wednesday.

A paragliding champion emerged unscathed after crash landing into trees near Takaka Hill.

New Zealand paragliding champion Kussy Gomez, of Queenstown, was flying as part of the Paragliding Open competition when a wing failed, she lost height and crash landed at 5pm yesterday.

The 39-year-old was winched on board the Nelson Marlborough rescue helicopter before being flown to Golden Bay medical centre for assessments.

New Zealand Hang gliding and Paragliding Association PG Open media spokeswoman Jude Tarr said competitors were required to have safety equipment in the event things went wrong.

The area where the woman landed was very rocky and it was surprising she did not suffer any injuries.

Conditions could be very fierce in Nelson, she said.


Accidents such as this happened, but a strict protocol was always in place.

It was fortunate that the pilot was very skilled, she said.

Ms Gomez was able to communicate via radio to the competition director to relay her condition and location.

"She is a really experienced pilot and she followed the correct procedure beautifully."