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Monday 25 September 2017

Two unhurt after glider crash-lands in garden

Louise Hogan

Louise Hogan

TWO men escaped with minor cuts after their motor glider crash-landed into the rear garden of a house, minutes after the engine suddenly stopped.

Both walked away from the wreckage after the new aircraft struck the top branches of a tree and hit the ground.

The pilot was attempting an emergency landing in a field near Birr Airfield in Co Offaly.

Officers from the Air Accident Investigation Unit issued four recommendations after the incident aboard the Pipistrel Taurus 503 on December 6, 2008. The pilot and owner of the glider were carrying out a check flight before a permit to fly was issued.

It was the first aircraft of its type on the Irish register. And the investigation found the check pilot had limited experience on that type of aircraft and as a result was "poorly equipped" to deal with the situation that arose.

Three recommendations were issued to the aviation authorities calling for warning placards equipped with ballistic parachute systems to be placed on the outside of the aircraft. This is a device that allows the light aircraft to be lowered to the ground with a large parachute.

It was also recommended that manufacturers Pipistrel place a warning in the flight manual regarding the possibility of sudden engine stoppage.

At 1,400ft the glider's engine suddenly stopped and attempts to restart it failed.

The check pilot tried to return to the airfield -- but the craft struck the top branches of an ash tree.

The aircraft landed in the rear garden of a house at low speed and was damaged beyond repair. The pilot later said he may have spent too much time trying to restart the engines rather than focusing on returning to the airfield.

It was a check flight as the owner was seeking a permit to fly from the Irish Aviation Authority. The inspection took place before the check flight began and later examinations of the engine found no technical reason for the stoppage.

Irish Independent

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