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Terrifying moment military jet flies just 90ft from paraglider

  • Royal Navy Hawk T1 flew between four paragliders on a practice bombing run
  • Martin Harries can be heard saying ‘Jet fighter giving it big licks around me’
  • One pilot said that they were able to feel the heat from the engine of the craft  

This is the terrifying moment a military jet passed as close as 90ft to a group of paragliders while flying at 345mph.

The Royal Navy Hawk T1 flew between the four paragliders while on a practice bombing run at an adjacent military range. 

The near miss was filmed by another paraglider pilot, Martin Harris. 

He can be heard on his helmet camera video saying: ‘Jet fighter giving it big licks around me. Check that puppy out.’

The Royal Navy Hawk T1 flew between the four paragliders while on a practice bombing run at an adjacent military range

Then as the Hawk soared above him and below his colleagues, he says nervously: ‘Like a wild man. He’s fast.’

Tim Bishop, safety officer at the paragliders’ club, said: ‘One of the pilots who was closest could feel the heat from the jet’s engine.’

An official report revealed the Hawk pilot had not been told in his pre-flight briefing that paragliders were in the uncontrolled airspace next to the range.

The jet, operated by the Navy’s Fleet Air Arm, was said to have had only an ‘antiquated’ navigation system which consisted of a map, a stopwatch and a 20-year-old GPS system.

The pilot may also have failed to see the paragliders until the last moment after being blinded by the sun as he roared over Salisbury Plain at 1,200ft, the report said. 

An official report revealed the Hawk pilot had not been told in his pre-flight briefing that paragliders were in the uncontrolled airspace next to the range

An official report revealed the Hawk pilot had not been told in his pre-flight briefing that paragliders were in the uncontrolled airspace next to the range

The incident happened on January 26, but has only just been made public by the UK Airprox Board. 

The paragliders from Avon Hang Gliding and Paragliding Club were flying in an authorised area over Bratton Camp near Westbury, Wiltshire.

The report rated the near miss as the most serious Category A incident where there was a ‘serious’ risk of collision and blamed it on ‘effectively a non-sighting by the Hawk pilot’.

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