HKPA report number 31

Site: Ma On Shan

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

Date of Event: Sunday 19th of January 2014

This Accident report was filed on Thursday 23rd of January 2014 and the last change to the report was made on Friday 24th of January 2014 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 Club Pilot (PG3) Licence with 2-3 years of experience whist flying at Ma On Shan at approximately 15-1700hrs on Sunday 19th of January 2014.

The conditions at the time were reported to be Variable with a N wind blowing approximately 16-20kph. The temperature was 15-19deg C with Nil Cloud and Unlimited Visibility.

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

Factors in this Accident:
Overshoot LZ
Tree Impact
Airmanship

Event Description:

The pilot involved was flying in northerly conditions which changed rapidly as the approach to landing was made

The pilot flew into a tree near the landing field.

Committee Response: (if any )

EMAIL REPLY Recieved from pilot involved:

Hi Trevor,

I will be happy to give an account and probably some suggestions on how it would have been avoidable.

1) I was trying not to be too high above the tree as I wanted to land just shortly after it to avoid some longer bushes/grass which i may have to encounter if I were coming in too high.

2) The wind were predominantly north. I thought I would have no trouble clearing it as I seemed quite high above it. But just as I was before the tree I suddenly lost quite some height, possibly from rotor coming from the mountain in front. I cant confirm if that was the case but from my experience with my glider's glide ratio, it did seem like a sudden loss of height.

The incident could possibly have been avoided if 

1) I had first gone to take a look at the landing site itself instead of just seeing it from the launch. I would have a better idea of the best approach.

2) I should not have tried a too low approach abv the tree  as it would be a vulnerable position from any sinking air.

Also pls convey my deepest appreciation to your members Lai Wai and Ah Ma , esp Lai Wai who selflessly climbed up the tall tree precariously to rescue me and also my glider. I would gladly have such flying mates anytime.

Regards

RESPONSE:

The HKPA site guide for MA ON SHAN has reference to when the wind turns NORTH. The farmers paddock LZ becomes UNUSABLE in a NORTH wind because of the TAIL WIND.

The visiting pilot also did not bother to visit the LZ prior to takeoff to help to visualize the landing. If the pilot had I suggest a better choice would have been made rather than the tree landing.

The visiting pilot obviously did not read the site guide thoroughly to get all the information about the wind changes, please encourage visitors to READ and UNDERSTAND the site guides

HKPA'S thanks go out to the pilots mentioned in the email for helping the pilot.

Committee Action: (if any )

HKPA Ma On Shan website updated to make bold the statements about the NORTH wind issues.

Attached Files: CLICK ON IMAGE TO SEE LARGER VERSION