Glider in near miss with fighter jet in Cairngorms

The RAF Tornado was forced to take evasive action. Picture: Ian Rutherford
The RAF Tornado was forced to take evasive action. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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A FIGHTER jet and a glider came within 100ft of crashing in a near miss over the Cairngorms, an aviation report has revealed.

The pilot of the RAF Lossiemouth-based Tornado GR4 told investigators that he spotted the glider “at the last minute” when on a training exercise.

He was carrying out low-level air refuelling and weaponry exercises with another Tornado when he was forced to take evasive action.

The pilot manage to dive his aircraft and pass 100ft below the glider to avoid crashing into it.

The near miss happened on April 30 along the route of the River Spey between Kincraig and Aviemore.

The pilot of the glider – registration G-EEZO – told the investigation that he spotted the fighter jet “very late” and pulled up 50ft to pass directly over the top of the plane.

The incident was investigated by both the RAF at Lossiemouth and the UK Airprox Board, whose report has just been published.

The Lossiemouth Occurrence Safety Investigation stated: “No specific flight safety recommendations can be made. Both pilots were entitled airspace users in class G airspace where the principle of ‘see and avoid’ is used to prevent collision.

“However, military crews must remain aware that light aircraft, including gliders, can and will operate in class G, from low level below radar coverage, to higher altitudes.”