Accident Slingsby T.45 Swallow BGA1338/BYJ,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 351733
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Date:Tuesday 7 November 2023
Time:13:30 UTC
Type:Slingsby T.45 Swallow
Registration: BGA1338/BYJ
MSN: 1568
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Bishop Hill, near Portmoak Airfield, Scotlandwell, Kinross -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Portmoak Airfield, Scotlandwell, Kinross
Destination airport:
Investigating agency: AAIB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The Slingsby Swallow T45 lost control and struck sloping ground at Bishop Hill, near Portmoak Airfield, Kinross.

The pilot had planned to ridge soar at Bishop Hill, near Scotlandwell, which is about 1 nautical mile north of Portmoak Airfield, Kinross. The reported wind was from 270° at between 8 to 10 kt.

At about 13:25 hrs the glider was winch launched to a height of about 1,100 ft agl (1,450 ft amsl) from the westerly runway at Portmoak Airfield. The pilot then headed directly towards Bishop Hill, whose summit extends to about 1,400 ft amsl and was the area in which the pilot intended to fly. The pilot advised that the glider’s controls were responding normally.

The pilot could see two other gliders and at least one paraglider flying near the ridge line ahead of him. The pilot recalled that as he approached the hill the glider’s airspeed was about 45 kt.

He then made a left turn onto a northerly heading to fly approximately parallel to the windward ridge line. The glider momentarily started to climb, but then experienced turbulence with the vario indicating “severe sink”.

The glider was now below the summit of the hill, at a visually estimated height of 800 ft, and the pilot stated that he had intended to make a left turn, away from the hill. However, his next recollection was of the glider striking the side of the hill and travelling through gorse shrubs before coming to a stop on a south-easterly heading

The glider’s wings and cockpit were damaged. The pilot suffered injuries to his spine and was attended to at the accident site by emergency services and mountain rescue, prior to being airlifted to hospital.

The continuity of the glider’s controls was checked shortly after the accident and no anomalies were found.

=AAIB Conclusion=
The pilot considered that the reason for the accident was a loss of lift after encountering strong sink whilst flying near to the ridge line at Bishop Hill. Based on the pilot’s recollection, the glider’s airspeed as it approached the hill was just less than the speed recommended by the FFVP.

However, it is likely that the glider’s airspeed was lower than this when it encountered turbulent sinking air, resulting in insufficient energy to safely manoeuvre away from the hill.

This accident highlights the safety risks of ridge soaring. Information on managing these risks is available from the BGA website"

=Damage to airframe=
Per the above AAIB report, the glider was "substantially damaged". Contemporary media reports (see links #2 to #6) state that the pilot was seriously injured, and had to be airlifted to hospital by Air Ambulance

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: AAIB
Report number: AAIB-29719
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report


1. AAIB Final Report:


Revision history:

16-Feb-2024 12:51 Dr. John Smith Added
16-Feb-2024 12:53 ASN Updated [Registration]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

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