An accident at a model aircraft world championship at Lungpan Park in Kenting (墾丁) yesterday claimed the life of a woman carrying her son.
The accident at the F3F Radio Control Soaring (Slope) World Cup in Pingtung County was the first death for the sport in Taiwan since it was introduced here. The child was not severely injured, having been nicked in the neck.
Veteran participants of the sport said that the radio-controlled glider could have been blown off-course by a momentary strong gust of wind, adding that such an accident is rarely seen.
The glider belonged to the US team participating in the event.
The 2kg glider collided with the woman 500m away from the competition grounds when she was walking with her child along a wooded path.
“She did not go to see the competition. She just wanted to take a stroll in the park,” a member of the woman’s family said.
Lungpan Park is considered the best ground for the sport, although there are other grounds in Keelung City, Taitung County, Miaoli County’s Houlong Township (後龍), Taichung’s Tiezhenshan (鐵砧山) and Penghu County.
World record holder Lin Kuo-ping (林國平) made his record flight of 24.58 seconds at Lungpan Park in 2013.
Wind at the park tends to bring high-density air sloping downward, and the park’s geography generates a great upward draft, making it an excellent ground for the sport.