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Tue, Aug 29, 2006

Glider Pilot Survives Mid-Air With Jet

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 Monday.

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.

Sounds like there were plenty of miracles going around...

**   Report created 8/29/2006   Record 9
********************************

IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 879QS        Make/Model: H25B      Description: HAWKER 800 XP
  Date: 08/28/2006     Time: 2211

  Event Type: Accident   Highest Injury: Minor     Mid Air: Y    Missing:
  Damage: Substantial

LOCATION
  City: CARSON CITY   State: NV   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  MID AIR COLLISION BETWEEN SCHLEICHER N7729 AND HAWKER N879QS (OPERATING AS
  EJA879) AT 16,000 FEET, 42 MI SE RENO, NV.  PILOT OF GLIDER BAILED OUT,
  CARSON CITY, NV

INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   0
                 # Crew:   2     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   1     Unk:   
                 # Pass:   3     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:   
                 # Grnd:         Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:   

WEATHER: 22017G22 10 SM FEW 100 34/-5 A3004

OTHER DATA
  Activity: Business      Phase: Descent      Operation: Air Carrier


  FAA FSDO: RENO, NV  (WP11)                      Entry date: 08/29/2006

FMI: www.faa.gov

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