The report found race tactics caused gliders to fly too low http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/leicest...ire/6345731.stm
The death of a photographer at a Leicestershire gliding competition was caused by aircraft flying "too low", an official report has found.
Neil Lawson, aged 42 and from Basingstoke, Hampshire, was standing on top of a car taking photos when he was hit by a glider and fatally injured.
The collision happened at the Junior World Gliding Championships at Husbands Bosworth, Leics, in August 2005.
The report was carried out by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch.
The report concluded that the root cause of Mr Lawson's death was "the practice of flying too low, outside the confines of the airfield and resorting to pop-up manoeuvres to clear obstacles".
It continued to state: "This racing tactic, which was employed by many competitors, was unnecessary and it deprived them of a good view of obstacles ahead."
Struck by wing
The unnamed 24-year-old pilot of the glider which collided with Mr Lawson, had clocked up 692 hours of flying and told investigators the late afternoon sunlight impaired his sight.
According to the report, the pilot recalled "easing back on the control stick slightly as he approached the hedge" and "looked out to his right to see when he was over the photographers as they disappeared from sight below the nose of the aircraft".
But he failed to see Mr Lawson standing on a car and the wing of the glider struck him.
The glider crash-landed in a field and the pilot escaped uninjured.
Mr Lawson was seen by paramedics but the on-scene air ambulance's take-off was impeded by other low-flying gliders who, unaware of the accident, continued to race to the finish line, the report stated.
Mr Lawson was then pronounced dead on arrival at hospital in Nottingham.
How very sad, and I feel sorry for the other pilots not having knowing one of their gliders had struck the photographer and so hindered the air ambulance.. Again sunlight was said to be blamed. Hopefully this will encourage the glider pilots to carry and wear sunglasses if and when necessary.