Accident Schempp-Hirth Standard Cirrus 75B BGA.2138, Saturday 12 May 1984
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Date:Saturday 12 May 1984
Time:14:35 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic scir model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Schempp-Hirth Standard Cirrus 75B
Owner/operator:Private
Registration: BGA.2138
MSN: 635
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Category:Accident
Location:Longdon, near Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:Private
Departure airport:Bidford-on-Avon, Alcester, Warwickshire
Destination airport:Bidford-on-Avon, Alcester, Warwickshire
Investigating agency: AIB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Narrative:
Written off (damaged beyond repair) 12.5.1984 when collided at 3,000 feet over Longdon, near Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire with Rockwell Commander G-BIUO. The pilot of Rockwell Commander G-BIOU was slightly injured, but the pilot of the Cirrus glider BGA.2138 was killed.

The Rockwell Commander G-BIUO was flying straight and level at 3,000 feet and 125 knots between Card/Rhoose Airport and Humberside Airport on a properly-filed VFR flight plan.

The Cirrus BGA.2138 had taken off from Bidford-on-Avon at 11:05 hours, with a flight plan from Bidford-on-Avon to fly overhead at Raglan Castle, near Monmouth, and return to Bidford-on-Avon at an average IAS of approximately 70 knots.

The two aircraft were seen to collide at 14:35 hours; as a result of the impact collision, the port wing of the Cirrus glider detached, while the remainder of the glider spiralled earthwards, breaking up and ejecting the pilot, who was killed. The pilot of the Cirrus glider had a parachute, but did not deploy it. It is not clear if he was conscious after the collision, but if he was unconscious, that may explain why he did not use his parachute.

The Rockwell Commander, meanwhile, lost its propellor and engine cowling in the impact. The windscreen was crushed inwards; the tail empennage, as well as being distorted, suffered several fractures of the supporting spar attachments to the fuselage. The rear fuselage also received a compression distortion on the left hand side.

Despite the severity of the damage, and the force of the impact, the pilot of the Rockwell Commander managed to regain control, and execute a safe landing in a meadow at Longdon, Gloucestershire. The aircraft undershot the intended touchdown point, and received further damage when it collided with a barbed wire fence and a fence post. When the aircraft came to a halt, the engine was still running.

The subsequent AAIB investigation concluded that the Cirrus glider had caused the collision by landing on top of the Rockwell Commander from the right hand side at an angle of 30 degrees. It was concluded that the pilot of the Cirrus had not seen the Rockwell Commander until the last moment, when it was too late to taking avoiding action. The pilot of the Rockwell Commander was unaware of the Cirrus until the collision impact.

Longdon is a village and a civil parish in the Malvern Hills District and council ward of the county of Worcestershire, England and lies about 5 km (3 miles) south of Upton-on-Severn. It is jointly administered with two other parishes by Longdon, Queenhill and Holdfast Parish Council. Despite this, the AAIB Report gives the crash location as "near Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire"

NOTE: The official AAIB report gives the registration of the Cirrus glider as "BGA 610", but this is an error - the "610" was the competition number worn by the airframe at the time of the crash. The actual BGA registration was BGA 2138

Accident investigation:
cover
  
Investigating agency: AIB
Report number: 
Status: Investigation completed
Duration:
Download report: Final report

Sources:

1. AAIB: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5422f0ce40f0b613420002e5/Rockwell_Commander_G-BIUO_and_Cirrus_BGA_610_07-84a.pdf
2. http://www.rcawsey.co.uk/stdcir2.htm
3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Longdon,_Worcestershire

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
03-Sep-2014 19:53 Dr. John Smith Added
03-Nov-2015 23:26 Dr.John Smith Updated [Narrative]
19-Aug-2022 15:44 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative, Category]

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