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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 194228
Last updated: 11 December 2018
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Date:05-APR-2015
Time:12:40
Type:Silhouette image of generic PNR3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Alpi Aviation Pioneer 300
Owner/operator:Private
Registration: G-OPFA
C/n / msn: PFA 330-14298
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Minor
Category:Serious incident
Location:Upton-upon-Severn, Worcestershire -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:Private
Departure airport:Gloucestershire Airport
Destination airport:Gloucestershire Airport
Investigating agency: AAIB
Narrative:
A model glider pilot reported that he and others were flying remotely piloted gliders from their club’s field at Fish Meadow, Upton-upon-Severn, Worcestershire. The field is about 35 ft amsl. There was little or no cloud and the wind was east-south-easterly at 5 to 10 kt.
The 1.8 kg glider had an electrically powered propeller to assist with launching, a wingspan of 3.8 m and was fitted with a height limiter that automatically removed the power to the motor at a pre-determined height above the launch site or after 30 seconds, whichever occurred first. During this flight the height limiter was set to 100 m. It also had on-board telemetry that allowed the pilot to monitor its height.
The glider was hand launched by the pilot at about 1230 hrs and climbed, under the power of its motor, to 100 m when the motor automatically cut; this was confirmed by the on-board telemetry. After about 10 min, as the glider was flying slowly in a thermal, its pilot heard the sound of a powered aircraft to his right flying from north to south. As the aircraft entered his peripheral vision he determined it was flying a course approximately along the River Severn "at a low level and travelling quite quickly." He was unable to take avoiding action before the glider and the powered aircraft collided while over the river.
The glider’s left wing separated and drifted downwind while the rest of the glider fell into a field about 260 m south-west of the launch site. The last altitude observed by the glider pilot, as indicated by the glider’s telemetry, just before the collision, was 190 m agl (630 ft agl).
The aircraft pilot reported that he was on a local flight from Gloucestershire Airport. Visibility was in excess of 10 km with a layer of grey cloud at various heights above him throughout the flight. The aircraft initially headed north from Tewkesbury between 900 and 1,500 ft amsl.
As it approached Upton-upon-Severn, the pilot and his passenger noticed two model aircraft flying from a field to the east of the river, "well below them" as they flew round the perimeter of the field. The pilot then headed away from the area. A short time afterwards there was a "loud thud" as the aircraft struck what the pilot believed was a seagull, seeing a slim grey/white object pass over the left wing. He then noticed some damage to the upper skin of the left wing but the fabric did not appear to be punctured. He recalled the altimeter indicating about 900 ft amsl when he scanned the altimeter shortly after the impact.
After checking that the aircraft handled normally the pilot contacted Gloucester Approach and informed them that he was returning as his aircraft had suffered a substantial bird strike.
The aircraft subsequently landed safely with the AFFRS in attendance. It had sustained a small hole, about 10 mm in diameter, in the top of the left wing’s leading edge and surface damage to the wing fabric behind the hole.

Sources:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/561620e6ed915d39b9000007/Pioneer_300_G-OPFA_and_Valenta_Ray_X_S037996_10-15.pdf

Accident investigation:
cover
  
Investigating agency: AAIB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration:
Download report: Final report


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
16-Mar-2017 18:26 harro Added
16-Mar-2017 18:27 harro Updated [Aircraft type]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description