Robinson R22 Beta, G-LIDS and Hybred 44XLR, G-MTJP
A Robinson R22 helicopter departed Elstree with an instructor who was the aircraft commander and a student who was receiving a trial lesson. A microlight with a pilot and his friend were carrying out a local private flight returning from Hunsdon to Plaistow Farm near St Albans. Both aircraft were operating VFR in good VMC when they collided at about 1,200 feet above Welham Green. The microlight suffered severe structural damage and descended out of control into a wooded area, fatally injuring both persons onboard. The helicopter instructor received a serious injury to his left foot and despite some structural damage to the helicopter was able to perform a successful emergency landing in a crop field, both persons onboard the helicopter survived the accident. The lack of conspicuity of the aircraft against their respective background and a constant relative bearing creating a lack of movement combined with the limitations of the eye were identified as the main contributory factors. One safety recommendation was made concerning ways of improving the conspicuity of gliders and light aircraft.
G-LIDS-and-G-MTJP-4-05.pdf (419.69 kb)