Exec Jet 879 midair with glider near Reno


Exec Jet 879, a Hawker 800, collided with a glider at 16,000’ MSL near Reno on Monday afternoon. There were no major injuries, but the glider was destroyed and the jet had to land wheels up in Carson City. The track log shows the rapid descent and change of ground speed following the collision. It is at http://flightaware.com/live/flight/EJA879/history/20060828/2110Z/KCRQ/KCXP/tracklog.

Congrats to the Hawker pilots for saving a broken airplane, and to the glider pilot for a successful bailout.


flightaware.com/live/flight/EJA8 … /KCRQ/KRNO
Do you know the glider’s tail number?

                      **EJA879 Track Log**

06:05PM 38.72 -119.47 424 17700 descending
06:06PM 38.83 -119.50 419 16400 descending
06:07PM 38.93 -119.50 392 13100 descending
06:08PM 38.98 -119.52 269 11100 descending
06:08PM 39.00 -119.52 320 10800 descending

Welcome to the forum! 8)


faa.gov/data_statistics/acci … 0829_N.txt


I’m not looking for glider traffic at 16000 . . . .


Ground elevation in the area of the collision looks to be 9000-10000ft, so the gilder would have been 6000-7000 ft AGL.

Not a glider pilot, but that seem reasonable to me.

Edit to issue correction:

The elevation 42mi SE is only 4-6000 ft. I missread the direction as SW when looking at the map. That does put the glider pretty high above the ground.

However, I would still hope that the PIC would be looking for ANY traffic, not just traffic typical at 16,000ft.


for the non-pilots, often gliders do not have transponders, thus, do not show up on ATC radars except as primary targets. I have the head on swivel if I know there are gliders, sport pilots, flying lawn chairs, jump planes, any aircraft that are hard to spot or if I know those types are in the area.

However, you do not get much GA traffic reported to you inthe mid-teens and you would not expect a glider at that altitude unless they O2, which is pretty rare. so, thats what I meant. They probably felt pretty secure on an IFR flight plan at that altitude . . .


Approximately a $80,000 glider. Its certificate only issued about a month and a half ago.

Try spotting this going 300 kts at 16,000.


I see no landing light, no strobe, NOTHING to make it visible . . .and THATS the problem - with an airspeed of 300kts - is that TAS or IAS.??

And WHY do you need t ogo that fast in a glider??


He means the jet was going 300kt IAS. Trying to spot the ultra-low profile of a glider from anything other than directly on top when going that fast would be very hard to do.


419 GS. 300 kts ind.


Actually I got the 300 kts for the Track Log at 16,000 ft. which shows ground speed.

But i did read that the top speed for that glider is 154 KTAS according to the manufacturer’s website.


best pix i’ve seen of this incident…



CessnaCitationX gives a BIG hats off to the Hawker800 pilots! [/applause]


my brother is a Netjets Hawker pilot, and he says the Hawker is built like a tank! I can further tell you that Netjets sends all their pilots to Flight Safety where they get state of the art training. When you combine highly trained aircrew with a very well built airplane you can often walk away from incidents such as these. I further say that that glider pilot had no business being where he was without a working transponder! The Netjets aircrew did nothing wrong…indeed…they did everything right!


I believe you. Check out the requirements to be a pilot there. It’s a lot. netjets.com/News%20and%20Inf … pilots.asp


I posted a thread on Netjets.


With a link to their salaries.


Oh what a breath of fresh air. I’ve been listening to a few glider pilots that insist on blaming the Netjets crew. That jet’s flight path was easily known hours in advance. It was in a very predictable location on a published approach corridor. They were using their radios, their transponder, I believe the NTSB report said they had TCAS. They most likely had their lights on. Making much effort to be visible, by all rights.

The closing rate means the jet crew had to be looking at the exact right spot in the sky and probably had just a few seconds to see the aircraft. As we all know, a collision course means the glider was not moving within the field of view. A glider head on looks like a sheet of paper from a distance. Visually, our eyes are not the best equipment we have for seeing other aircraft, and in this instance, definetely odds are stacked against it.

A glider up that high, with no lights, apparently not talking to anyone (though that isn’t factually established yet), transponder not turned on, in an approach path for a busy airport that is apparently posted on a bulletin board at the glider’s rented location is taking a huge risk and not being fully responsible, in my opinion.

The only thing the jet pilots may have done wrong is not ‘see and avoid’. But when the other aircraft isn’t making much effort to be seen nor avoided, that makes it difficult. Descent at that point is a busy time for all crew members. The pilot not flying has many more responsibilities than just peeking out of the cockpit. We all must trust one another to make all effort possible to make the skies safe. As I see it, the glider didn’t do that.

The glider, though apparently in a legal place for it to be, could have made significantly more effort to be seen. Or simply avoided that busy area. Some have said the jet should avoid the area, but that is up to the FAA and the airport to reroute and change a known and predictable flight path.

Remember that regulation? It states something about being knowledgeable about all factors affecting the safety of flight? The netjets crew presumably should be knowledgeable about a high glider traffic area, and the glider pilot should have been knowledgeable about the busy corridors into a large airport nearby and the safer places to fly. Also, probably should have been communicating with ATC about their location and potentially had their xponder on at such a high altitude. Even the flight schools website, which has a LOT of suggestions that had they been followed this mishap would have been avoided, suggests having the transponder on in that area at that altitude: mindensoaringclub.com/int2/i … e&Itemid=1

Oh my, this rant is over, but holy crap it’s nice to read people that can see that “right of way” rules mean nothing without see and avoid, which means nothing if you aren’t seen. Make yourself seen. Guess the NTSB final report will be interesting. I’ll shut up now.


“Taking sides” is human nature, but I think you’ll find after a bit of reading here in the Forum that, in general, the pilots and other knowledgeable folk who inhabit this place tend to be a bit more cerebral when discussing events such as these.

First, welcome to the Forum.

Second, after a bit of reading I believe that the glider was reported to be in a published approach path for the airport? If that’s the case, the “right of way” was the Hawker’s under the FARs, not the glider’s. The Hawker had the duty to hold its course and the glider had the duty to give way, regardless of the fact that the glider is an unpowered aircraft.

This is akin to “everybody” knowing that a sailing vessel always has the right of way over a power vessel, which isn’t true at all.


I don’t know of any rule that says that. Even on an IFR flight plan the pilot is still responsible for see and avoid, and I don’t think theres any stipulation regarding the approach path to the airport (which is ambiguous anyway considering aircraft are almost always given ATC vectors, even with a STAR.)
It’s unfortunate that the “transponder required above 10,000” rule doesn’t include gliders.
I’ve had some “near mid-airs” before in my instructing days, and sometimes it’s nearly unavoidable. Sometimes an accident is just an accident. I don’t see either person is really “at fault.”


OK, when I saw harrier’s first post I went…