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Aircraft (ULM EC-GU1) and Helicopter D-HOTT Mid-Air on Mallorca

A Helicopter and an Aircraft (appreantly an UL) collided over Mallorca – at least 7 People Died.
German Media reports the Helicopter belongs to a German Company

@aart your OK? :\

BBC Report

Last Edited by Matt_FK at 25 Aug 16:37
Austria

Thanks for your concern Matt..
It’s really horrible. Aviation is a small community here, and I knew the ULM pilot pretty well. The helicopter pilot was a very good friend and a very safety-oriented airman. He leaves a wife and three young children behind.

Private field, Mallorca, Spain

Great to hear you’re OK, @Aart!

More infor (in Spanish) here: https://elpais.com/politica/2019/08/25/actualidad/1566738822_312210.html

Looks like the helicopter picked up a German family at a hotel and the UL was flown by local. Very sad, RIP.

Terrible news :(

EASA CB IR instruction
LOWG, LEBL,

Really terrible news =(

Hopefully ADS-B will become a thing in Europe too.

^ESM[ES]$, Sweden

Terrible news. The deceased helo pilot was my hangar neighbour.
Hopefully we can get some positive outcome.
Mallorca is restricted to 1000agl for vfr, it is class A above that, which effectively means we are all flying same or similar altitudes over the island.
Also, most UL in the area, coming from Binissalem airfield, 9 nm from LESB, use 130.15 frequency (@aart , is that right?) while LESB traffic over most of the island uses 123.5.
Furthermore, traffic flying out of or into Mallorca , while still over Mallorca, will be using Palma tower or approach frequencies,while still in the same class G.
Hence a minimum of three uncoordinated frequencies for users of the same altitude-restricted airspace…can someone see a problem coming?

Antonio
LESB, Spain

That’s correct Antonio, most UL’s use only 130.15 (or 130.2 for Vilafranca airfield). Those that have the capability to listen out on two frequencies usually also monitor Son Bonet 123.5. But there are also NORDO UL’s of course, of various types.

I think you are right that communication needs to improve and it is very sad that this accident had to happen to achieve that. Just a few weeks ago the deceased helicopter pilot asked me about the frequency of Binissalem so that he could use it while in the area. We’ll never know whether he actually did that yesterday or not. Also I regularly hear the local school aircraft switch to Binissalem while in the area, and always appreciate that.. So the awareness is there, at least at one side..

UL and certified GA should come together soon to discuss this. There are various people with their feet in both worlds. I’d be very happy to contribute.

Private field, Mallorca, Spain

Dimme 25-Aug-19 17:54 05
Really terrible news =(

Hopefully ADS-B will become a thing in Europe too

Very sad outcome.. I hope for the same; the authorities shall wake up finally and implement it..

Slovakia

supik wrote:

Hopefully ADS-B will become a thing in Europe too

The problem here seems to be

  • Operations in the same airspace using different frequencies
  • Hopeless airspace structure forcing all VFR at the same alt
  • No coordination of VFR flights by ATC (ALL VFR flights)

A truly sad and avoidable accident (again, by the looks of it). In any case (accident or no accident) the airspace, ATC and radio communications seems nonfunctional, and ADS-B is no solution to that. Things have to work first, then one can start to contemplate ADS-B.

• Operations in the same airspace using different frequencies
• Hopeless airspace structure forcing all VFR at the same alt
• No coordination of VFR flights by ATC (ALL VFR flights)

Can you imagine that situation arising in a civilised country, like the UK?

And you could then add in

• pilot resistance to Electronic Conspicuity.

EGKB Biggin Hill
44 Posts
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