Tayside and Central Scotland

Glider crash pilot Mark Dickson had 30 years' experience

mark dickson
Image caption Mark Dickson was killed when his glider crashed at Portmoak Airfield

Investigations have revealed a pilot killed in a glider crash at an airport in Kinross had 30 years' experience.

Mark Dickson, 49, was killed instantly when the right wing of his plane clipped the ground, during a take off in September 2012.

He was found dead in the Nimbus 3's upturned cockpit, by a student glider pilot helping launch the aircaft in windy conditions.

He had suffering multiple injuries in the crash in Portmoak.

Mr Dickson, an air traffic controller, had more than 1,300 hours glider flying time but had only been out once in the previous three months.

Image caption The glider crashed at Portmoak Airfield in Kinross

It is understood the aircraft was in the process of taking off and was only a few feet off the ground when the incident happened.

The pilot was found upside down inside the aircraft and despite the efforts of paramedics, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said in a report that the fatal launch went ahead after Mr Dickson failed to release the winch cable when the wing tip touched the ground, as advised by the British Gliding Association (BGA).

The experts said he may not have seen that the wing tip was on the ground due to the model's long wings.

The report also said: "The cable release handle was fitted in a position such that the pilot would probably not have been able to keep his hand on it and still achieve full roll control authority."

The AAIB recommended that the European Aviation Safety Agency and the BGA ensure that the cable release control on gliders can be operated at any stage of their launch "without restricting the range of movement of any flying control".

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites