ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 29475
Last updated: 2 September 2015
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Narrative:Both pilots were taking part in the Free State Regional Gliding Championships, which took place from 9 April 2004 to 12 April 2004. This was the last day of the competition with a cross-country task routing as follows: Hennenman Aerodrome, Kroonstad Aerodrome, Welgelè, Harmony Aerodrome, Ventersburg road crossing, Hennenman Aerodrome. 28 gliders of different classes took part in the competition. After reaching Kroonstad Aerodrome, a group of approximately 8 gliders headed for the second turn-point, Welgelè, approximately 43nm South of Kroonstad. ZS-GUX was the first aircraft to turn toward Welgelè at approximately 11:53Z and he was followed by ZS-GSV, who was approximately 1000m behind him. At that stage ZS-GUX was at an altitude of 2288m with ZS-GSV slightly higher at 2443m. ZS-GSV slowly caught up with ZS-GUX at an average closing speed of approximately 17km/h and at 11:56:30Z, the horizontal separation between both aircraft had reduced to 130m and the vertical separation had reduced to only 33m. ZS-GUX then started a gradual climb while ZS-GSV continued with it’s descent. This caused a reduction in airspeed of ZS-GUX and further reduced the horizontal and vertical separation between the two aircraft. At 11:56:48 with both aircraft more or less at the same altitude, 2200m. ZS-GUX initiated a left-hand turn. At that stage ZS-GSV was positioned to the left and behind ZS-GUX and although ZS-GSV also initiated a left-hand turn, a mid-air collision followed. According to eye-witness accounts, ZS-GUX went into a steep dive but was seen to level out at very low altitude and at very high speed. The aircraft then flipped up and collided with the ground. Investigation revealed that the pilot had bailed out from the aircraft but due to the low altitude, his parachute did not have sufficient time to deploy, and the pilot was fatally injured. ZS-GSV was seen to enter an uncontrolled spin type manoeuvre from which it did not recover. Investigation revealed that the pilot had been incapacitated during the mid-air collision and he remained strapped in his seat.
|Type:||Schempp-Hirth Ventus cM|
|C/n / msn:|| 66/528|
|Fatalities:||Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1|
|Airplane damage:|| Written off (damaged beyond repair)|
|Location:||5NM S of Kroonstad -
|Phase:|| En route|
||Updated [Time, Operator, Total occupants, Total fatalities, Other fatalities, Location, Country, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Damage, Narrative]|
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