HKPA report number 26

Site: Ma On Shan

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

Date of Event: Sunday 27th of October 2013

This Accident report was filed on Monday 28th of October 2013 and the last change to the report was made on Monday 4th of November 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 Club Pilot (PG2) Licence with 5 years of experience whist flying at Ma On Shan at approximately 12-1400hrs on Sunday 27th of October 2013.

The conditions at the time were reported to be Smooth with a E wind blowing approximately 10-15kph. The temperature was 25-29deg C with A Little Cloud and Unlimited Visibility.

There were reported to be 16+ pilots at the site.

Factors in this Accident:
Overshoot LZ
Tree Impact
Airmanship

Event Description:

Pilot was on third flight for the day and thinking to try to go as far from the ridge as possible (towards the sea).

Condition were good, with E wind at around 15-20 km/h, good thermals and general good buoyancy.

Pilot reached and passed the official landing with good altitude, but realized that if pilot wanted to top land had better get back to the ridge.

On the way back pilot met sinking and found himself lower than what he wanted.

Pilot started looking for thermals over the small hill in front of the radio controlled area (The Grassy Mound), but they were ruptured and not consistent, after losing and gaining for some time pilot decided to go to look closer to the ridge, hoping for some thermodynamic lift. Pilot encountered down draft and found himself with very limited options!

Pilot decided to move towards the landing (even if it was clear to me that I would never managed to get there...) hoping for “a miracle”.

Pilot was thinking to land in a very small grass field , but I noticed some “thermal movement” over few houses and went for it: Bad choice!

No real thermals (actually, a bit turbulent) thermal, impossible to work...lost more height, lost the proper alignment for landing on the small grass field, overshoot and went for the tree!

This is, roughly, the position 22.391021,114.26447 (if you want you can googlemap it)

No injuries (not even a scratch). Advised other pilots I had landed on a tree but I was OK and didn’t need any help. Recovered my wing (I had a good check at home and found out a tear along one of the seams 30 cm long .

Pilots judgement has been “fooled” by the previous flights: I was convinced that I would have found enough lift to regain altitude (based on the experience of the two flights I had before). The fact that strong thermals were available at good height made me think (wrongly) that the same would have been true at lower level. Which was only partially true. Two pilots before me went for the main landing, but I didn’t realized that wasn’t a “choice” they made: It was a “signal” that, down, condition were different...

Committee Response: (if any )

Thankyou for the report. Hopefully other pilots can learn from this

points to note.

1. conditions change throughout the day. Keep an eye on the weather.
2. commit to a good outcome EARLY ! choose a safe landing option and STICK TO IT! - changing you mind is ok when you have plenty of options, but it you have limited choice, make a plan and stick to it.

Very Glad to hear there were no injuries.
Thankyou for the report.

Committee Action: (if any )

NIL Action Yet

Attached Files: CLICK ON IMAGE TO SEE LARGER VERSION