Experienced Burton paraglider Anthony Robinson died after lines caught on cliff at Barton, inquest heard
AN experienced paraglider suffered fatal chest injuries after crashing into the cliff at Barton, an inquest heard.
Anthony Robinson (66), of Stony Lane, Burton, was pronounced dead at the scene near to Marine Drive East after the fatal incident on 7th July last year.
Winchester Coroners’ Court heard how his lines probably caught on the rock as he flew too close to the edge in an effort to find uplift.
Paragliding expert Ben Thompson told the hearing that after investigating the accident he believed Mr Robinson had come deliberately close to the cliff to catch the wind to take him higher into the air.
He said: “In essence, he didn’t want to go down. Unfortunately, he cut it a little bit fine.
“Because he was so close to the cliff it left no margin for error.”
Mr Thompson said he believed Mr Robinson’s lines had snagged, most likely on a rock, causing him to be thrust into the cliff.
Mr Robinson was a “very keen and active pilot”, he said, who had flown in different countries and parts of the UK as well as using different types of wing.
He had also regularly flown at Barton in the three months prior to his death.
On the day of the accident there had been light winds and there were no defects with the glider, he added.
Maureen Nokes, who was walking her dog on the clifftop at around 5.30pm, said in a statement she had seen a paraglider flying over the top of her.
But a few moments later she heard a “very loud thud” and saw a man lying motionless and unconscious.
Despite the emergency services being called, Mr Robinson could not be revived.
Mr Robinson, a former paramedic, had amassed 300 flying hours since taking up the pastime in 2018.
He had gone to Barton with fellow paraglider and friend Giuseppe Lund, who had 30 years’ experience in the sport.
In a statement, Mr Lund said he had flown with Tony, as he was known, for the past two years at Barton and described him as an “able” pilot.
He said on the day of the crash the winds were 8-10mph and the weather was warm.
Mr Lund had been flying in a higher lift zone when he saw Tony stretching east toward the headland not far above the cliff.
He said: “I realised Tony was swinging closer to the cliff.
“I assumed he had realised he would get caught in a down-draft in the headland as he was low, but decided to head west before probably having to land below.”
From Mr Lund’s elevated position he could only see Mr Robinson’s wing, which he said “suddenly swung towards the cliff”.
He thought he might have been attempting to get enough lift to land but realised Mr Robinson had collapsed onto the clifftop and was lying still near to the edge.
Speaking at the inquest via videolink, his son Ben described his father as a “gregarious, outgoing individual”.
He was also a keen surfer, skier and kite boarder.
A statement from pathologist Dr Adrian Bateman said Mr Robinson had suffered severe chest injuries.
Coroner Jason Pegg recorded a verdict of misadventure.