All Safe After Collision At 16,000 Feet
This is nothing short of amazing...
as everyone is safe after a glider and business jet collided
at 16,000 feet over the Pine Nut Mountains of western Nevada
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
"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
"This woman is a miracle worker," passenger Evy Chipman of
Incline Village said of the pilot.
Sounds like there were plenty of miracles going around...
** Report created 8/29/2006 Record
Make/Model: H25B Description: HAWKER
Date: 08/28/2006 Time: 2211
Event Type: Accident Highest Injury:
Minor Mid Air: Y
City: CARSON CITY State: NV Country:
MID AIR COLLISION BETWEEN SCHLEICHER N7729 AND HAWKER N879QS
EJA879) AT 16,000 FEET, 42 MI SE RENO, NV. PILOT OF
GLIDER BAILED OUT,
CARSON CITY, NV
INJURY DATA Total
# Crew: 2 Fat:
# Pass: 3 Fat:
Fat: 0 Ser:
WEATHER: 22017G22 10 SM FEW 100 34/-5 A3004
Activity: Business Phase:
Descent Operation: Air Carrier
FAA FSDO: RENO, NV
Entry date: 08/29/2006