AAIB investigation to Schleicher ASW 27-18E (ASG 29E) glider, G-VLCC

Uncontrolled dive with sustainer engine deployed, Moundsmere, near Basingstoke, Hampshire, 21 July 2016.


Following a launch by aerotow, there was a period of soaring flight before the pilot apparently started the glider’s sustainer engine for practice, as pre-planned. Shortly afterwards the glider was seen descending steeply toward the ground, which it struck at a speed in excess of 100 kt. There was no evidence of any technical failure.

The pilot was an experienced glider pilot and seemed fit and well before the flight. However, it is possible that the pilot was incapacitated during the latter stages of flight and the pathologist could not rule out the possibility that she might have lost consciousness, as a result of a cardiac problem owing to a family history and reports of heart palpitations about two weeks prior to the flight.

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Schleicher ASW 27-18E (ASG 29E) glider, G-VLCC 03-17

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Published 13 April 2017