Paragliding community 'reeling' after Mt Maunganui death

Emergency services rushed to the scene at Mount Maunganui on Saturday afternoon.
Emergency services rushed to the scene at Mount Maunganui on Saturday afternoon. Photo credit: Supplied

The paragliding community is trying to work out what's behind a recent increase in crashes. 

A man was killed in a paragliding accident over the weekend - the fourth such death across two summers.

The man, who was in his late 20s, died at Mount Maunganui on Saturday February 17.

He was a local pilot who had reportedly been involved with the sport for two years. His father is also a keen paraglider.

NZ Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association CEO Evan Lamberton says the recent spate of deaths is unprecedented.

"Prior to that we had one several years earlier, and maybe another one some years before that," he told Newshub. 

"One's too many, but four has just really got us all reeling."

He says more participation in the sport, as well as social media stunts, could be behind the increase.

"We can't put our finger on it, but it's a feeling that we have that people see the very top-end pilots doing manoeuvres. We've had incidents where the camera that's present has definitely been a factor in people pushing their margins."

He says locals and the paragliding community are rallying around the family in their time of need.

Newshub.