An appeal against the sentence handed down to a tandem paragliding pilot Murat Yeşilbaçar who was ruled to have caused the accidential death of his passenger by not carrying out required safety checks failed last week.

The appeal court upheld the sentence made by the Fethiye Courts on 1st March 2012 of 4 years and 2 months last week.

What Happened

On 1st September 27-year-old Caner Güler, a mechanical engineer on holiday from Bursa, took off on a tandem paraglide from the top of Babadağ mountain near Fethiye.

His wife, 26-year-old Miray, had taken off minutes earlier for the popular 30 minute flight to the Oludeniz beach some 1,800 metres below.

Shortly after the launch, Caner Güler fell from his harness and died on the rocks 700m below.

His pilot Murat Yeşilbaçar, was reported as being arrested on landing and taken away by Jandarma for questioning.

There were claims at the time that Güler’s harness wasn’t properly attached.

Yeşilbaçar, a paragliding pilot with ten years experience, appeared at an initial court hearing in November 2011.

At that hearing Yeşilbaçar the pilot claimed that he and Güler had gone through the routine stringent safety checks on the mountain prior to launch.

Yeşilbaçar has ten years experience as a tandem pilot and claimed Güler opened the harness himself, possibly by accident, after which he tried to hold on to his passenger but failed to do so, and Güler fell to his death.

Yeşilbaçar went on to say that as soon as he landed he ran to report the accident to the Jandarma and point the rescuers in the right direction.

The trial was adjourned and then resumed during the following months as reports were gathered.

At one of the hearings in November Caner’s widow Miray had stated:

“I am here to see justice for my husband. I cannot say much at this point just that I want to see the responsible person punished.”

Appeal Failed

The trial was concluded on 1st March 2012 and the pilot, Murat Yeşilbacar, was sentenced to four years and two months for his role in the ‘accidental death’ of Caner Güler. He appealed against his sentence and that appeal failed last week.

Paragliding Safety Turkey

Oludeniz, Turkey is famed for its spectacular paragliding with the famous mountain to beach flight. It also hosts an annual Air Fest at the end of October each year that attracts paragliding pilots from all over the world.

In 2013 75,000 launches carried 130,000 people showing that the majority of flights were tandem flights.

2013 saw a welcome reduction in paragliding incidents – injuries and crashes – with 19 incidents and one death during the year.

18 of the incidents involved solo pilots and many of those incidents were reported in FethiyeTimes.com

In 2012 there were 25 incidents, all of them involving solo pilots and none resulting in loss of life.

The reduction in incidents is attributed to new safety measures implemented for 2013.

Read our latest paragliding safety Turkey article here for more information Paragliding Season Aiming for Zero Accidents

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