A wing collapse is believed to have contributed to the death of a Tauranga paraglider in Mount Maunganui last year, a new report has found.

On December 7, 2018, mobile mechanic Richard Marriner climbed Mauao to go paragliding. Marriner was an experienced paraglider and well known in the paragliding community. He had been paragliding from the summit when he suddenly dropped from the sky and crashed below.

Mauao, where paraglider Richard Marriner died after falling mid-filght. Photo / File
Mauao, where paraglider Richard Marriner died after falling mid-filght. Photo / File

Coroner Wallace Bain said in his report, released this month, Marriner, 48, died of fatal injuries resulting from "high energy impact".

Bain said there were no other pilots in flight at the time Marriner was paragliding. Four people walking on Mauao stopped to watch Marriner in flight.


The witnesses stated there appeared to be a change in the wind and the wing of the paraglider collapsed. Marriner was seen falling straight down and out of sight, Bain said.

READ MORE: Adventurous paraglider Richard Marriner 'was always on the go'

Despite CPR efforts from shocked witnesses, Marriner did not survive.

The Civil Aviation Authority found wind conditions at the time were likely to have been causing turbulence in the area.

Marriner was seen making steep turns while in flight, which were believed to have "significantly heightened" the risk of the wing collapsing, Bain said.

The aviation authority also found the harness Marriner had been wearing was in worn condition and did not meet a warrantable standard, but whether the damage was made before, during or after the accident could not be determined.

Marriner's death was "most likely being the result of a wing collapsing during high-speed manoeuvring in turbulent conditions".

There was no trace of alcohol or other substances in Marriner's system.


Marriner's sister Arndrea Evans said shortly after her brother's death he was an adventurous spirit who was always on the go.

"He was someone who just loved life," she said.

"He was happy and outgoing and always looking for a bit of an adventure."