Glider’s emergency landing posed no danger to the public

CLOSE A glider is forced to make an emergency landing metres away from Hill Head beach. ''Picture: Richard Berridge
CLOSE A glider is forced to make an emergency landing metres away from Hill Head beach. ''Picture: Richard Berridge
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A GLIDER forced into an emergency landing metres away from a busy beach posed no danger to the public.

The aircraft came down on Saturday morning at Salterns open space near to Hill Head Beach.

CLOSE A police officer talks to the pilot. Picture: David Cousinsa

CLOSE A police officer talks to the pilot. Picture: David Cousinsa

It had been supposed to land at Daedalus Airfield following a training exercise.

But the chief flying instructor at the Portsmouth Naval Gliding Centre said the emergency landing posed no risk to those on the beach.

However, David Cousins, who was on the beach at the time the glider came down, insisted he and others had to take action.

He said: ‘It was probably more of a lucky escape for the people on the beach than the pilot.

‘I had to dive on my front and shout at another lady to duck down. It was really that bad. I’m amazed this will not be investigated.’

Mr World, chief flying instructor at the Portsmouth Naval Gliding Centre, based in Lee-on-the-Solent, said: ‘The problem with gliders is they are engineless. You are very reliant upon the air currents and any lift you get.

‘She was coming back and she got into areas of sink where you get pockets of sinking air.

‘Gliders end up landing in fields at some time or other.

‘Around the airfield there are fields that we know we can get into as part of training,’ he said.

‘If there were people walking their dogs on it then there’s a field further on that she could have landed on.

‘She has to be low over the beach to get into the park. She was much higher than people on the beach.

‘I have spoken to the pilot and she was always going to land in Salterns Park. She identified there was nobody in the park from a long way out.

‘We train for this all the time. It doesn’t happen very often.

‘Landing outside the airfield might happen once or twice a year.’

Hampshire police contacted the Air Traffic Investigation Branch but they declined carrying out an investigation.