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When Is A Glider Safer Than A Fixed Wing Aircraft?

by John M. White |

On Sunday a civilian glider collided with a Grob Tutor single engine aircraft over Oxfordshire in Great Britain, and the two pilots aboard the Grob Tutor died in the crash while the glider pilot parachuted to safety and was uninjured in the incident. The aircraft was being operated by the Royal Air Force on a training mission with a Cadet at the time of the accident, and was based at RAF Benson. Although rescue teams were on the scene within minutes the two pilots perished in the accident. Grob Tutor Airplane on All Things Aviation Witnesses apparently heard a loud “thud” and then saw the two aircraft spiraling towards the ground whereupon they heard another big impact noise as the aircraft hit the ground. Those of us who fly understand that “see and be seen” is a major part of our training to avoid just such incidents as these. The Grob Tutor is a low wing aircraft, and visibility below the aircraft is limited by the wing. On the other hand, high wing aircraft suffer from a similar problem as pilots can not see above the aircraft. The weather apparently was not a factor, and it is sad to see an incident like this occur and two young men lose their lives doing what they loved to do – fly airplanes. Once again I am reminded that flying is a dangerous business, and requires constant vigilance at all times. Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch! JetAviator7 The natural function of the wing is to soar upwards and carry that which is heavy up to the place where dwells the race of gods. More than any other thing that pertains to the body it partakes of the nature of the divine. — Plato, 'Phaedrus.'

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