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Collision with Terrain/Obstruction on Ground

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Pilot Details

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Incident Details

January 1, 2006
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(Editorial Note: although this happened in England, it is only one of three known fire incidents and so provides some good food for thought.)

The conditions for flying were great, nil wind and very little air movement.

Whist at about 50ft in the air approaching the landing area I realized that there was a new pilot on approach that was coming in dead stick. I was basically flying towards him and I shouldn’t have been in his area of space. When i realized the danger I made an extremely hard left turn and I think I stalled the canopy, I ended up dropping into a collision course with a transit van with recovery lights on top. As I hit the corner roof and recovery lights my machine burst into flames!

The petrol tank had ruptured and the source of the ignition is on open to speculation. The prop had shattered on impact and the spark plug snapped in halve.( this we think is the probable cause of the ignition) I continued to crash into the ground on fire.! (Very scary indeed!!!) Having immediately unclipped myself the rest of the pilots did a great job in smothering my motor and indeed saying it from becoming a write off!!

I sustained a badly burned left arm and elbow / cuts to my right leg and a sprained ankle. I consider myself extreme lucky to have walked away from this and more importantly not injuring any spectators. My Clementi is in remarkably good condition considering what happened. On inspection I think a new fuel tank/ propeller and some minor bending back of the chassis and i’ll be back up in the air a much wiser pilot.

This could of happened to any machine and want to just make clear it is nothing to do with the brand of the motor. Maybe we could all learn something from this…

The ability to get out of my harness very quickly certainly prevented any serious burn injury. I can’t help but wonder what would have been the out come if I had a front mounted reserve on and attached with mailon’s Im sure i wouldn’t have been able to get free so quickly. This also made me think what would happen to a pilot if for some reason you ended up ditching into some deep water how fast could you free yourself from the harness?? Food for thought!!

Well we now intend to have a fire extinguisher on site… preferably next to the windsock?? First aid kits etc.

Safe flying everone.

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