A light aircraft narrowly avoided colliding with a para-glider above Britain’s tallest mountain, an official report has found.
The near miss took place at 4,400 feet in the skies above Ben Nevis with the terrifying “very close” call caught on camera by the plane’s pilot.
The video, taken from the cockpit of the DR1050 aircraft, shows the tiny para-glider coming within a mere 200 feet of the plane’s trajectory before the pilot quickly veers sharply to the right, avoiding a potential catastrophe.
In a report by UK Airprox Board, which investigates near-misses in British airspace, it was revealed that the incident occurred because the plane’s pilot was checking his instruments.
The report stated: “He glanced down to check his oil pressure gauge and, when he looked up, he saw a para-glider, who had right of way.
“He turned to the right, although the turn made very little difference because he was unable to avoid flying close to the para-glider.
“He had a compact digital camera mounted on the passenger seat and, when reviewed the footage after landing, he realised that although it merged with the background, the para-glider was in fact visible much earlier.
“It was unfortunate timing that he had chosen that moment to check his instruments.”
The report also found that the man piloting the Sigma 9 para-glider thoughtthe sound of the oncoming plane was a motorbike travelling through Glencoe below, which is why he didn’t avoid the plane sooner.
The report said: “He entered the Glencoe valley from the west fairly low, but managed to thermal up the sunny side of the ridge, however, he was working hard to do so.
“He eventually cleared the ridgeline and heard what he thought was a motorbike from the road below.
“When he came back round in the thermal, facing south, he was head-on and ‘very close’ with a white light aircraft. He tightened the turn to dive down, and the other pilot banked aggressively to the right.
“It was the light aircraft’s right turn that avoided a collision.”
It was concluded that both of the men were to blame for the incident: “In assessing the cause of the airprox, the board quickly agreed that it was a late sighting by both pilots.”