In Australia a national championship for hang gliding enthusiasts has just finished. It was held?
MCU Australian hang-gliding championships organiser Glen Woodward interviewed INTERVIEW CONTINUES OVER:
MV Spectators PAN mountain top (3 shots)
MV Glider PAN as pilot banks into trees
GV Hang glider pilot runs and takes off and soars away
GV Spectators with binoculars
CU Pilot PULL BACK PAN as he runs his hang glider into the air
GV Spectators outside village
GV Hang glider soaring over chalets and lands
GV Hang glider banks for landing and lands
MACGREGOR: "Is there an element of danger in Mountain flying compared with on the coast?"
WOODWARD: "There's always the element of danger in any sort of flying, but it is a little bit more dangerous in the mountains because the wind can tend to be a little bit more turbulent. But it comes back to pilot ability. Pilots with the ability to fly those places should be the only ones to fly."
MACGREGOR: "Well you've had a very good safety record here, you've only had one minor crash into the treetops. Why did that occur?"
WOODWARD: "Mainly due to pilot error. The pilot got a little bit of a bump and he just scraped a tree."
MACGREGOR: "Have you confirmed that accidents like that effect the image of hang gliding?"
WOODWARD: "Well I think that the image of hang gliding is that it must contain an element of risk if it's to be worth the game, and I think all accidents are unavoidable."
MACGREGOR: "Do you think there's a need to strictly regulate amateurs to make sure that there aren't accidents?"
WOODWARD: "Certainly and Tassa, which is the Self Soar Association, the national body which controls hang gliding, has a rating scheme in operation. Pilots in this competition are called Hang Four pilots, which is the highest rating possible and entry is restricted to those pilots only."
MACGREGOR: "Should the regulations go further than that and cover all people who hang glide?"
WOODWARD: "At the moment we've got no legal control over flyers, but the Government, Government bodies are putting through regulations so that Tassa, will have control over all flyers."
MACGREGOR: "But every time there's an accident somewhere, somebody screams that the sport should be banned completely. Do you think that's wise?"
WOODWARD: "No I think that's unreasonable. I think there's accidents and deaths in anything, playing, but hang gliding seems to be one of those sensational sports that really get into the public eye easily."
The organisers felt that the 21 December Championships were so successful they're considering an international competition in the Snowy Mountains early next year. In the National Championships, 40 competitors took part. The organisers hope to attract top competitors from all over the world to the international meeting.
SPORT: HANG GLIDING
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Background: In Australia a national championship for hang gliding enthusiasts has just finished. It was held at Mount Thredbo, in the Snowy Mountains, in southern New South Wales. In winter, the area is one of Australia's top ski resorts. A.B.C. reporter John MacGregor was at the Championships and he spoke with organiser Glen Woodward.