AAIB Special Bulletin S3/2017 on HPH Glasflugel 304 eS, G-GSGS

Front Electric Sustainer (FES) battery fire during landing, Parham Airfield, West Sussex, 10 August 2017.


At 1530 hrs on 10 August 2017, the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) was notified of a battery fire occurrence involving an HPH Glasflugel 304 eS electric self‑sustainer sailplane during landing at Parham Airfield, West Sussex. The occurrence was initially referred to the British Gliding Association (BGA) for investigation in accordance with an existing Memorandum of Understanding between the AAIB and the BGA for non-fatal gliding accidents. Having conducted an initial investigation, the BGA requested further assistance from the AAIB, resulting in the AAIB launching a Field Investigation on 21 August 2017.

The AAIB investigation continues, including detailed examination of the fire-damaged forward FES battery pack from G-GSGS intended to identify, if possible, the origin of the failure within the battery pack. It is also planned to examine additional FES battery packs using CT X-ray inspection techniques to determine whether any internal anomalies are present in those battery packs. The scope of the AAIB investigation also includes a review of the certification processes followed by EASA in the approval of those powered sailplanes in receipt of EASA RTCs.

Three Safety Recommendations have been made.

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AAIB Special Bulletin S3/2017 - HPH Glasflugel 304 eS, G-GSGS

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Published 25 September 2017