HKPA report number 23

Site: Lantau

(***Click here for site guide***)

Date of Event: Sunday 7th of July 2013

This Incident report was filed on Saturday 13th of July 2013 and the last change to the report was made on Tuesday 6th of August 2013 by Trevor Gribble

Injury Index = 0
( 0 =No Injuries or Minor - brief visit to Doctor)
( 1 =Significant - hospitalized or work time loss less than 48 hours)
( 2 =Temporary Disabling Injuries)
( 3 =Permanent Partial Disabling Injuries)
( 4 =Permanent Total Disability)
( 5 =Fatal injuries)

Details:

A pilot holding a Novice (PG1) Licence with 2-3 years of experience whist flying at Lantau at approximately 12-1400hrs on Sunday 7th of July 2013.

The conditions at the time were reported to be Gusting with a S wind blowing approximately 21-25kph. The temperature was 30-34deg C with Moderate Cloud and Slight Haze Visibility.

There were reported to be 6-10 pilots at the site.

Factors in this Incident:
Collapse
Airmanship
Strong Winds
Flight in Cloud
Undershoot LZ
Rotor

Event Description:

Reports have come in about a pilot taking off in Lantau and attempting to cross from the East side to the West side, entered cloud, and got caught in the strong wind in the gap and got sucked through to the Tung Chung Side

DETAILS:

On 7/7/2013, 12:30 – 1pm, I received a call from pilots at Lantau Site that they had observed a paraglider being blown over the back, through the gap while trying to go from east to west side.

Witnesses observed a glider experiencing 3 or more 50% collapse before turning down wind & disappearing behind ridge in direction of Tong Chung into the valley toward the airport.

Pilots reported winds were very strong, cloud base was low, and pilot may have been in cloud earlier.

I made calls around to those pilots which I knew had the same coloured glider, The Pilot being one of them, but unfortunately received no answer. I left message for the pilot to check on the pilots safety.

After 45 min to hour I did receive call back from the Pilot confirming he was the involved and had landed safely. There after I contacted all other involved in check & search to let them know pilot landed safely.

His statement, the next morning, weather conditions were very good. Blue sky and the wind was straight south and was around 20km/h. I took off at around 11:45 and flew about an hour along sunset peak. When I tried to cross the road to the west side of the road, the wind was getting stronger, and pushed me to the back of ridge. It was impossible to penetrate back to the front side of the ridge. I then turned towards Tung Chung and landed in a deserted road.

Committee Response: (if any )

Based on information provided my comments are as follows relating to pilot error.

1. Pilot did not check weather or understood forecast.

2. Pilot was not using good judgement in terms of weather conditions or was being observant of changing conditions (gray cloud / raining approaching)

3. Pilot was not monitoring his instrument (check ground speed) prior to attempting to go across.

4. Pilots ignored HKPA flight zone restrictions.

5. From talking with other pilots it is thought this same pilots was blown through the gap last year.

6. Over all, pilot was very luck as heavy rains were confirmed 30 min later.

7. PILOT, MAY HAVE BEEN FLYING ALONE?

CROSSING THE GAP FROM EAST SIDE TO WEST SIDE IS NOT ALLOWED AND IS DANGEROUS! IT IS AN ACTIVE HELICOPTER LANE!

Committee Action: (if any )

Unfortunately, the pilot concerned has not come forward with his version of the events, so we cannot all find out what happened to cause this issue.

I hope that pilots can see that the Venturi effect is part of the issue here.

I have included some images for pilots to consider when flying in these sort of areas.

Attached Files: CLICK ON IMAGE TO SEE LARGER VERSION