Microlight pilot walked away from mountain air crash

THE pilot of a microlight which crashed on a Scottish mountain was saved from serious injury by the deep soft snow covering the 3,800ft peak, an air accident investigation report revealed.

The plane cartwheeled across the summit after it was struck by the wake vortex of another microlight above the snow-capped peak.

The Pegasus Quik microlight was extensively damaged in the crash on the summit of Glas Maol, near the Glenshee ski resort, on 1 November last year. But the pilot was able to walk off the mountain uninjured, after two hillwalkers came to his rescue and helped him from the wreckage of his aircraft.

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The unnamed 56-year-old pilot was one of three microlight pilots who had taken off from an airfield at Perth to fly into the foothills of the Cairngorms.

The air accident investigation report states: "The pilot regularly flew from the airfield and was aware of the dangers involved in flying over mountainous terrain.

"He stated that on the day of the accident the weather conditions were perfect, with snow on the mountains, almost no wind and excellent visibility."

"While attempting to manoeuvre his aircraft away from the mountain, the left wheel dug into the snow, causing the aircraft to cartwheel on to the mountain," the report states.

"Whilst the aircraft was severely damaged, the deep, soft snow protected the pilot from injury.

"Two hillwalkers who witnessed the accident came to the pilot's assistance and subsequently escorted him off the mountain."

A spokesman for Grampian Police said the force's mountain rescue team had not been involved in the incident or the recovery of the wreckage.

Stewart Davidson, a spokesman at the Glenshee ski centre, said he was unaware that the crash had even happened.