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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 229911
Last updated: 13 November 2021
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Time:18:25 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic ls4 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Rolladen-Schneider LS4
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: None
Category:Serious incident
Location:ca 37 km NE of Hamburg Airport -   Germany
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Lübeck-Blankensee Airport (LBC/EDHL)
Destination airport:Lübeck-Blankensee Airport (LBC/EDHL)
Investigating agency: BFU Germany
Lufthansa flight LH24, an Airbus A321 (D-AISV) was on an IFR flight from Frankfurt to Hamburg, Germany. On board were the five-man crew and 170 passengers. The flight was guided by Bremen Radar with radar vectors to the southern approach of runway 23. The flight was then given clearance by the responsible controller to turn left to 280° and descend to 3000 ft AMSL to reach the Instrument Landing System (ILS) of runway 23.
The crew had preselected 3000 ft AMSL as the target altitude and the autopilot was activated. The Airbus was in a left turn with a bank angle of approx. 25° (course 305°) in descent (sink rate 910 ft/min) when it came close to a Rolladen Schneider LS-4 glider in the area.
The Airbus overtook the glider and flew under it at a horizontal distance of approx. 56 m and a vertical distance of approx. 46 ft (14 m). The glider was on a VFR flight together with a second glider. Both planes had started from the glider airfield Lübeck-Blankensee. The glider pilot stated that she was at approx. 3600 ft AMSL, flying in northwestern direction over the southern part of the village Reinfeld, when unexpectedly an Airbus A321 appeared on approximately the same course just below her glider and overtook it on the right side. She had not seen the Airbus before and had therefore not been able to avoid it. She estimated the distance at 60-80 m horizontally and 20-30 m vertically. The second glider was about 1.5 NM northwest of the event location at the time of the approach. The Airbus continued its approach to runway 23 at Hamburg Airport and the glider later landed in Lübeck-Blankensee.

The serious incident, the approach between a commercial aircraft and a glider in Class E airspace, was due to the following causes:
- The Airbus was given clearance to descend to an altitude below the protected Class C airspace of Hamburg-Fuhlsbüttel Airport.
- The approach speed and flight path made it impossible for the Airbus cockpit crew to recognize the glider in time.
- For the glider pilot, the approach took place from behind, from an area that could not be seen.
- The application of the "See and Avoid" principle was not possible for the cockpit crew of the Airbus or for the glider pilot.
- All available warning systems (TCAS/STCA/RADAR) were ineffective because they did not work without a transponder in the glider.
- The widely used FLARM collision warning device for gliders is so far unsuitable for commercial aircraft and does not warn against them.


Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: BFU Germany
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report


Revision history:

24-Oct-2020 10:38 harro Updated [Departure airport, Destination airport, Narrative, Accident report]

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