HKPA report number 42

Site: Long Kee Wan

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

Date of Event: Sunday 1st of February 2015

This Accident report was filed on Monday 2nd of February 2015 and the last change to the report was made on Thursday 12th of February 2015 by Trevor Gribble

Injury Index = 2
( 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)


A pilot holding a Beginner Licence with 1 years of experience whist flying at Long Kee Wan at approximately 15-1700hrs on Sunday 1st of February 2015.

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

There were reported to be 2-5 pilots at the site.

Factors in this Accident:
Hard Landing
Tree Impact
Impact with Obstacle
Unlicenced Instruction

Event Description:

I arrived Long Kee around 1400. Wind was stable, 15-20km/h, slightly cloudy with good visibility. There were few people and the mentioned pilot were learning with the instructor on site together.
The glider used by mentioned pilot was made by windtech and printed with "zenith". Visually the glider seems a bit old evidenced by fading of dyed color. The pilot was attached with a reversible airbag harness made by swing. He wear a bicycle helmet, motorcycle jacket, gloves and running shose. Was admitted that the pilot was attempting his first solo flight with his instructor that day. The pilot attempted takeoff but he failed at times even failed to inflate the glider properly. Then he tried to do some ground handling instead of attempt takeoff. I did my takeoff with friends around 1430 and topland at the takeoff zone around 1600. Then i start chatting with friends.
At 1630, the pilot attempted to takeoff on the south side of the takeoff zone under instructions. Condition was calm and steady with 15km/h east wind ~2km/h gust. Air traffic was smooth. Good visibility. The pilot attempted his takeoff but failed at times at first. Eventually, the pilot did his takeoff with radio guidance by his instructor. I saw the pilot flew at trim but the shape of the glider was rare. Visually C's and D's seems to be shorten. Cells was deformed in wave shape from leading edge to tail. It's a bit hard to described but look like this photo i've found on the internet( There were significant lift nearby the ridge. The pilot followed instructions and he turned anticlockwise 90 degree without losing altitude. Then he tried to do a 180 turn clockwise in order to fly back to the lift area by instructions. He pull his right brake to umbilical area and released left brake to his eye level. 20% right side of the glider was collapsed and the glider subsequently spin clockwise. No twist was occurred. Pilot spin around 270 degree clockwise then he pull his his left brake to exit from the spin. Unfortunately, pilot did not release his right brake and glider turn 90 degree clockwise and full stall was developed. Instructor told pilot to release his brakes. The pilot released the brakes symmetrically and the glider re-inflated and surge forward subsequently. The glider kept shooting forward and became same level in front of the pilot. Pilot pull his brakes all along again. Full stall was developed and pilot loss his altitude fall onto the trees. Whole accident lasted 5-10 seconds.
2 of my friends, a student learn with the instructor, 2 hiker and me started to search the pilot. Instructor was stay up on hill and communicated with us in radio. After 10-15 mins of searching, pilot was found 50m over sea level halfway down the hill. Trees nearby the pilot was bought down as the impact force was huge. The helmet was separated from the pilot and he was still attached with his harness. No reserve parachute was found. Pilot was found confusion and stupor. He was disorientated and can't recall the incident even his name, date and the location he was. He complaint of chest pain, severe back pain and multiple abrasions over his nose and face was found. Limbs were not paralyzed. His range of movement was limited. Pilot's condition was duly reported to the instructor through radio. Thus, the instructor reported the accident to police and asked his student to retrieved the glider and harness up to the hill. Eventually, GFS, fire services department arrived and rescued pilot to Pamela Youde Hospital.

UPDATE 03 Feb 2015
Accident report: By Instructor
On 1st February, 2015, 12:00pm, I took three students to practice in Long Kee Wan. In that day, the weather was little cloudy with occasional sunshine. The wind speed was about E10-15km/h . At 4pm, the student XXXXXXX (no HKPA , Member)had his first time to take off in practice, after he took off about one minute, maybe he was too nerves, he pulled too much brake when he was turning around, so his glider lost control and he fell on the tree and caused his back injuries. Because he could not move after injured, so a helicopter was called to send him to hospital. He needs to stay a few days in hospital for observation rest.

UPDATE 11 Feb 2015
Email received from the instructor:
Hi Trevor, I just spoke with my student. He is fine now and he is going to leave the hospital tomorrow. During his stay in hospital, I have visited him frequently and keep tracking on his recovery process. Since he had this accident happened, he already explained and apologized to me for the careless mistake he made in his training and caused trouble to us. We are glad he is recovering and leaving hospital tomorrow. He is going to be fine now and I will pay extra care and have my students to be extra care when they are practising during the training. Thanks so much for the care and sorry for the incident caused.

Committee Response: (if any )

04 Feb 2015
HKPA EC commencing investigation into licencing standards and qualification and equipment used. Email sent to USHPA

Committee Action: (if any )

NIL Action Yet