This is the moment paragliders had a close call when a military fighter jet flew through them – missing them by ”metres”.
The Royal Navy Hawk T1 was on a practice bombing run at a nearby military range and travelling at 345mph when he flew between four paragliders.
The near-miss of just 20m was blamed on a “non-sighting” by the Hawk pilot, who left at least one of the paragliders “shaken”.
A report into the incident revealed the pilot “was operating under an extremely high workload in a very small danger area”.
Dramatic footage of the near-miss was filmed by another paraglider on his helmet camera.
He can be heard talking on the video, saying: “Jet fighter giving it big licks around me. Check that puppy out.”
The group from Avon Hang Gliding and Paragliding Club were flying in an authorised area over Bratton Camp near Westbury, on January 26, when the incident happened.
The report by the UK Airprox Board said: “A paraglider pilot was at about 1000-1500ft when a fast-jet went past, initially over Salisbury Plain about 1-2 miles to the right of them.
“The jet then swept round to its left, over Bratton town, kept turning left until he was directly on a collision course with the paraglider pilot, and flew past about 20m below and slightly to the left, perhaps 30-60m.
“The jet also just missed someone who was behind.
“The paraglider pilot noted that he would have been directly into the sun from the fast-jet pilot’s perspective, so doubted the pilot had seen him.
“The paraglider pilot landed immediately afterwards as he was ‘a little shaken’.”
It added: “There was no doubt that he was concentrating on achieving a successful target run, and that had he been aware of or seen the paragliders earlier he would have avoided them.
“As such, it was agreed that the cause was effectively a non-sighting by the Hawk pilot.
“Turning to risk, members also agreed that the Hawk had flown through the group of paragliders and that the paraglider pilots would not have been able to materially increase separation if on a direct collision course due to the Hawk’s speed.
“The Board therefore agreed that collision had only been avoided by providence.”
The club’s safety officer Tim Bishop said the pilot acted quickly and with skill to avoid what could have been a more serious incident.
He said both parties have taken to steps to ensure a similar incident doesn’t happen again.
He added: “In summary, the cooperation between use of the area remains excellent and we value very highly the ability to work with Salisbury Plain Air Ops to keep everyone safe.”
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