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Accidents and injuries related to powered paragliding: a cross-sectional study
  1. Francesco Feletti1,2,
  2. Jeff Goin3,4
  1. 1U.O. Radiologia, Ospedale S. Maria delle Croci-Presidio Ospedaliero di Ravenna, Ausl della Romagna, Ravenna, Italy
  2. 2ExtremeSportMed, Bologna, Italy
  3. 3B.S. Aeronautical Science, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, Florida, USA
  4. 4U.S. Powered Paragliding Association, Dover, Delaware, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Francesco Feletti;feletti{at}


Objectives Powered paragliding (PPG) and paragliding are two totally different sports, mainly because of the use of an engine in powered paragliding. As a consequence, the pattern of injuries caused by each of these two sports may be different.

Setting To test this hypothesis, we analysed 384 incident reports gathered by the US Powered Paragliding Association from 1995 to 2012. The majority of the incidents occurred in the USA, while 26 incidents occurred elsewhere: Canada (8), Mexico (5), Panama (1), China (1), Japan (1), Malaysia (1), Indonesia (Java) (1), Europe (8): of which Spain (1), Belgium (1), UK (3), Italy (1), Romania (1), unknown (1).

Outcome To identify the most affected body area and the most common type of injury sustained in PPG, and to highlight any differences from paragliding.

Results The most affected body areas in PPG were the upper limbs (44.5%), followed by the lower limbs (32%), the back (9.8%), the head (7%), the pelvis (3.1), the chest (2.7%) and the abdomen (0.7%) (p<0.001). The engine caused 43 accidents (11.2%) in our study and was responsible for the majority of injuries to the upper limbs. The number of fatal accidents in PPG is not lower than in paragliding and hang-gliding.

Conclusions To help prevent the specific injuries of PPG, the most appropriate equipment should be identified. The results of this study also suggest that, in the future, this sport should be analysed separately from paragliding.

  • Extreme Sports
  • Paragliding
  • Sporting Injuries
  • Adventure Sports
  • Powered Paragliding
  • Hand Injuries

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