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Sports Class Nationals - Man Flies 75 Miles with Broken Wing

Edwin Salkeld flew 75 miles in a sailplane back to Parowan Airport, Parowan UT after a midair collision Tuesday, June 15th.  

The collision occured around 3:30 PM on Tuesday between Salkeld and a fellow competitor about midway into the three hour task for the National Sports Class Soaring Competition.  It happened about 75 miles North of Parowan Airport where the contest was based.

Salked says the had "two thoughts" immediately after the collision:  "Am I still flying, and is the other plane okay?"  Salkeld noticed that about five feet of his left wing was missing.  The other contestant immediately made radio contact and Salkeld responded.  Both were fine, but shaken.  Then both made radio contact to ground control.

Salkeld decided to return immediately to the airport.  He was concerned about his spoilers so he decided not to use them until landing.  He never got below 50 knots and never above 80 knots  so that he could control flight.  He had to thermal a few times, and was still able to climb.  He returned he the airport and made a normal landing.

The collision occurred after both contestants entered a thermal and could not see each other.

-Krista Knauer

Media Lead

Posted: 6/17/2010


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