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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 237605
Last updated: 29 March 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic h205 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Glasflügel H-205 Club Libelle
Registration: PH-407
C/n / msn: 143
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Volkel Air Base -   Netherlands
Phase: Landing
Departure airport:Volkel Air Base
Destination airport:Volkel Air Base
Investigating agency: Dutch Safety Board
The pilot took off from 24L (a grass runway) in PH-407, a single-seater glider, using a winch launch. He had a total of 819 flying hours experience (1,565 starts) in gliders, 50 hours (31 starts) of which were in the type in question. Some time later, the pilot entered the left-hand circuit to land. On the downwind leg he made a downwind call and saw that both landing sites were occupied. The pilot extended the downwind leg, to postpone the moment of landing until a landing site was clear. After turning to the base leg, he saw that the target landing field was now clear. The alternate landing field was still occupied. The pilot then turned to final approach and opened the airbrakes at an altitude of approximately 80 metres.
Just before landing, while flaring, the pilot looked to his left and saw a small vehicle emerge from behind the take-off dolly. It was travelling from left to right, and was approaching rapidly. It looked as if the vehicle was going to hit the left wing tip of PH-407. Acting on reflex, the pilot partially closed the airbrakes and pulled the glider’s nose slightly upward, to avoid the vehicle. At the same time, the vehicle’s driver performed an evasive manoeuvre, turning right to avoid PH-407. A collision was avoided. One characteristic of this type of glider is that, when the airbrakes are retracted, the aircraft drops almost immediately. That was what happened in this case. PH-407 stalled and made a hard landing, stopping without rolling out. The pilot involved in this occurrence sustained minor injuries. PH-407 sustained damage to its canopy and landing gear, and elsewhere.
The Safety Management Team (SMT) of the gliding club involved carried out an investigation into the occurrence, and shared the results with the Dutch Safety Board. This investigation showed that the following factors were involved. The vehicle’s driver and the field supervisor indicated that they had not expected any gliders to land during that brief period of time. They were focused on measures relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as disinfecting gliders and vehicles, and staying 1.5 metres away from other people. This distracted them from their actual tasks. Furthermore, from his position near the take-off dolly, the field supervisor did not have an unrestricted view of the downwind leg for runway 24. The field supervisor missed the downwind call, because he was placing a tail wheel in a vehicle at the time. Due to the measures relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, no-one was near the take-off dolly. This might explain why no-one heard the downwind call. The SMT’s response included recommendations to make members aware of the fact that not flying for extended periods of time results in reduced currency, not only in the air, but also on the ground.


Revision history:

02-Jul-2020 18:50 harro Added
02-Jul-2020 18:51 harro Updated [Total occupants, Narrative]
05-Oct-2020 09:29 harro Updated [[Total occupants, Narrative]]
29-Mar-2021 18:16 harro Updated [Registration, Cn, Departure airport, Source]
29-Mar-2021 18:18 harro Updated [Narrative]

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