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DocSullivan 08-30-2006 04:57 PM

Glider collides with NetJets Hawker - everybody OK
This is an incredible story on all counts -- and bravissimo to the NetJets pilot for saving the day for herself, her aircraft, and all aboard.

Glider Pilot Survives Mid-Air With Jet - Aero-News Network


Akihiro Hirao of Japan was flying his Schleicher ASH 27 glider (a similar 25 model is shown in the graphic below) over the mountains at about 3:10 pm just as a Hawker 800XP was starting its descent into the Carson City airport. The glider impacted the jet's nose -- sending both planes briefly out of control.

As Hirao attempted to bail out of his stricken plane, which lost a wing in the collision -- the pilot of the NetJets Hawker was dealing with a shattered instrument panel. Passengers onboard the charted jet from San Diego say she was able to stabilize the jet quickly, after banking sharply immediately after the impact and descending several thousand feet.

Local media reports state Hirao jumped from the glider, and parachuted into the mountains. He was found by Washoe Tribal Police at about 5:45 pm - two-and-a-half hours after the incident began -- walking near the mouth of Lone Pine Canyon.

"He has no apparent injuries but they will take him to get checked out," said Lyon County Sheriffs Department spokesman Lt. Jeff Page. "He hit a jet at 300 knots and had the presence of mind to bail out. He is a very lucky man."

Meanwhile, onboard the Hawker the plane's pilot set up for an emergency landing at Carson City. The pilot circled Washoe Lake several times in order to burn off fuel, and then executed what sounds like a flawless wheels-up landing at the airport.

"I've had wheels-down landings that were a lot rougher," said Hawker passenger Steve DiZio.

Pieces of the glider were found to be embedded in the Hawker's radome. The unidentified pilot of the charter plane suffered a cut between her lip and chin -- but no one else was injured in the ordeal.

"This woman is a miracle worker," passenger Evy Chipman of Incline Village said of the pilot.



CD 08-31-2006 06:20 AM

All involved survive mid-air crash

Ladi 08-31-2006 08:04 AM

That is AMAZING!


MattK 08-31-2006 08:28 AM

Glider Accident
Kudos to the pilot...someone should strike up an award for this lady.

Amazing that all survived too including the glider pilot. That picture is priceless, thanks CD.

VingWing 08-31-2006 10:20 AM

Here's more information on the recent midair collision as reported by a First Responder:

I am a Sheriff's Deputy in Carson City Nevada and on August 28 I responded to the folllowing accident.

A Hawker 800XP landed gear up at our airport. On arriving at the scene I found that the pilot, co-pilot and the three passengers were all OK. I observed several odd things about the crashed jet. The nose was missing and the right wing leading edge inboard was demolished. There was sporatic damage on the fuse, right nacelle and horizontal. All very odd damage for a gear up landing.

There was literally, a slice in the front left side of the fuse that went from the radar housing bulkhead up and rearward to just under the pilots window. Hanging out of this slice was a spar of some sort that did not belong to this jet.

It was quickly determined to be a mid-air collision with pieces that appeared to belong to a glider. On talking with the female pilot this was confirmed. her face looked as though she had been attacked by a slasher. Teh co-pilot confirmed the collision and was completely unharmed as were the three passengers.

I looked into the cockpit and I was completely amazed. The co-pilot side had only a small amount of debris strewn about while the pilot side looked as though it had been dynamited. The panel had literally exploded into the pilots face. The lower panel collapsed onto the yoke.

We implemented search and rescue with Aero Squadron and even our local med-evac joined in. As the jet was IFR we had a location from flight following as to where they were when the mayday was given. Within two hours glider wreckage was located in the mountains east of Minden. A very popular soaring destination. MEV. Our next notification was that a parachute canopy was located on the ground and that the harness was open as though the pilot landed safely and removed the harness. Before we knew it we had a call that one of the local Tribal Officers had picked up the glider pilot as he was walking out of the mountains. Minor cuts a nd bruises.

This event was so far, full of miracles. I just could not believe that everyone involved was alive and well needing nothing more than stitches.

Now it was time to concentrate on getting the jet on its wheels or on a trailer and off of the runway. This proved to be a non-event as we had two of what I now assume to be the best crane operators in the west. They properly slinged, lifted and moved this jet up, out of the dirt and onto the runway as though they were playing with toys. The wheels dropped and that majestic, beat up machine stood there in all of her glory as though it knew that it held it together just long enough to get the folks home.

Lest anyone question the miracle status of this event I will continue with indicating factors. The total fuel that was left onboard was estimated by the crew to be about 500 gallons. Well when we lifted up the jet it drained about 40 to 50 gallons. When the right wing ruptured it obviously lost its fuel. When emptied it began to vacuum fuel out of the left tank via what was told to me to be a cross feed system.

Wait, there is more. I don't think that I mentioned who braught the jet home. Through all of her injuries and the damage in front of her the first officer braought that jet and its cargo home. The co-pilot did his job calling out emergency procedure and the other ten thousand things but the pilot waded through her blood and injuries, the aircraft damage and the fact that she may have just been half of what was suspected to be a collision that killed another person and braught that jet in like a miracle worker. She even kept it on the runway until the very end when it just barely slipped off of side and into the dirt.

I am still whirling from the circumstances of this incident and the amazing fact that everyone survived.

Lets recap.
Jet hits glider at over 300 Knots
Injured pilot lands jet
Glider pilot ejects and is recovered relatively unharmed
All persons live

In case I have not described this incident well enough I will let a few photos speak the rest.

We can all identify the lessons that we can learn from this incident and if I ever have the luck to travel in a Corporate Jet I hope that A is my pilot.


ShoreLeave 08-31-2006 04:52 PM

The saddest part about this story is that it can even happen in the first place.
This is such a real situation and anyone that has ever flown into SDL, MMU, (enter your choice here) on a holiday wkend when all of the weekend warriors are out in the Pipers and Cessnas, can attest to.

CD 09-01-2006 03:39 PM

More photos...

crewzin 09-01-2006 10:51 PM

weekend warriors in SDL
Our pilots fly in and out of SDL quite frequently and have never brought up conversations about near misses or the like. Also, many of the principals who have aircraft there own challengers, gulfstreams falcons etc. not pipers or cessnas. I guess the weekend warriors you are referring to are coming over from California. (our pilots fly to aspen alot too, at least a few times a month for the last ten years, no problems there either.) I guess Im blessed to have such a great crew up front. Sorry to hear you have had some "harried" experiences inSDL and MMU.

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