Dunkeswell glider pilot ‘could see parachutist’s face’ in near-miss – BBC News

        </figure><p class="story-body__introduction">A report has recommended better safety measures after a near-miss between a parachutist and a glider.</p>

The parachutist fell through cloud at high speed and came within about 100ft (30m) of the aircraft near Dunkeswell airfield in Devon.

He was so close that the pilot could see his face and there was a “high risk of collision”, a report found.

The Airprox report recommended a formal agreement is put in place regarding safe use of the shared airspace.

The parachutist was performing a spiral dive and falling at high speed, with the pilot concerned there may be more parachutes dropping around him, the report said.

Of the 19 people who jumped from the aircraft on 19 October 2019, 18 landed on the airfield as planned.

‘Occasional misjudgement’

The parachutist involved jumped through broken cloud and “made the correct decision” to land in an open field, the Dunkeswell Chief Parachuting Instructor told investigators

Jumping through cloud is not prohibited, but a clear sight of the landing area is required.

The British Parachute Association said: “No skydiver would intentionally wish to descend through cloud because of the possible dangers, especially near a gliding site.

“However, as with all human activity, occasional misjudgement may occur.”

The parachutist indicated in an incident report he had flown away from the landing zone to avoid the gliders.

The report found the Devon and Somerset Gliding Club (DSGC) did not have a formal agreement with the current parachute operators to use the airspace safely.

The British Gliding Association said: “We understand that efforts over a number of years by DSGC to reach such an agreement have not borne fruit.”

Airprox recommended that Dunkeswell airfield and DSGC reach an agreement to include parachuting operations within their Letter of Agreement.

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