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NTSB SUMMARIES - 2002

These summaries are taken directly from NTSB final and preliminary reports and contain no comments from the Soaring Society of America or the Soaring Safety Foundation.

2002 NTSB SUMMARIES

December 2002

None

November 2002 (1 Accident)

NTSB Identification: MIA03LA022
Accident occurred: Friday, November 29, 2002 at Groveland, FL
Aircraft: LET L-23, registration: N41BW
Injuries: 1 Uninjured

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On November 29, 2002, about 1630 eastern standard time, a LET L-23 glider, N41BW, registered to and operated by Seminole Flying and Soaring Inc., impacted with the ground during a landing at the Seminole Lake Gliderport, Groveland, Florida. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed for the 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight. The glider was substantially damaged. The commercial-rated pilot reported no injuries. The flight was originated from the same airport at an unknown time.

According to witnesses the glider came in fast and did not have the airbrakes extended. The glider touched down on the runway, bounced, and started to drift toward some trees. As the glider drifted towards the trees, it suddenly nosed into the ground.

October 2002 (1 Accident)

NTSB Identification: DEN03LA001
Accident occurred: Thursday, October 03, 2002 at Morgan, UT
Aircraft: LET Blanik L-13, registration: N99805
Injuries: 2 Serious

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On October 3, 2002, at approximately 1400 mountain daylight time, a LET Blanik L-13 glider, N99805, was substantially damaged during an off airfield landing near Morgan, Utah. The private pilot and his passenger were seriously injured. Mountain Valley Soaring, Mountain Green, Utah, was operating the aircraft under Title 14 CFR Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal local flight that originated approximately 20 minutes before the accident. No flight plan had been filed.

A witness, the glider's owner, said there was "a lot of sink in the vicinity of the airfield." He said the glider hit a pile of dirt, went under some wires, and through two fences. The aircraft came to rest approximately 3/4 of a mile from the end of the runway. The glider damaged both wings and had a wrinkled fuselage.

September 2002 (5 Accidents)

NTSB Identification: ATL02LA177
Accident occurred: Saturday, September 28, 2002 at Tullahoma, TN
Aircraft: Schempp-Hirth KA8B, registration: N8747
Injuries: 1 Uninjured

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On September 28, 2002, at 1300 central daylight time, a Schempp-Hirth, KA8B glider, N8747, registered to University of Tennessee Space Institute, and operated by a student pilot, collided with trees short of runway 6 during an approach to land at Tullahoma-Highland Rim Regional Airport, in Tullahoma, Tennessee. The instructional flight operated under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91 with no flight plan filed. Visual weather conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The glider sustained substantial damage. The student pilot was not injured. The flight departed Tullahoma, Tennessee, at an undetermined time.

According to the student pilot, he was on his 17th solo flight at the time of the accident. The student pilot said he was low on final approach to land on runway 6 sod area. The glider collided with a stand of trees short of the sod runway.

NTSB Identification: LAX02LA291
Accident occurred: Saturday, September 21, 2002 at Hemet, CA
Aircraft: PZL-Bielsko SZD-42-2 JANTAR, registration: N131AS
Injuries: 1 Fatal

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On September 21, 2002, about 1330 Pacific daylight time, an experimental PZL-Bielsko SZD-42-2 Jantar glider, N131AS, collided with terrain under unknown circumstances near Hemet, California. The private pilot/owner was operating the glider under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. The pilot, the sole occupant, sustained fatal injuries; the glider sustained substantial damage. The personal local flight departed Hemet-Ryan Airport (HMT) about 1140. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

NTSB Identification: NYC02LA193
Accident occurred: Thursday, September 12, 2002 at Blairstown, NJ
Aircraft: I.C.A. Brasov IS-28-B2, registration: N8216Q
Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Uninjured

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On September 12, 2002, about 1500 eastern daylight time, an I.C.A. Brasov IS-28-B2 glider, N8216Q, was substantially damaged when it struck trees during an off airport landing, after it encountered descending air near Blairstown, New Jersey. The certificated private pilot who was the pilot-in-command was not injured. The certificated commercial pilot was seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local flight that departed Blairstown Airport (1N7), Blairstown, New Jersey. No flight plan had been filed for the personal flight that was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

According to an inspector from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the pilot-in-command (PIC) occupied the rear seat and was a member of the glider club. The second pilot was an associate member of the club and occupied the front seat. The second pilot was trying to obtain full club membership, and needed to fly with additional members prior to being voted into the club. The flight departed with the agreement that the PIC would handle the controls during the tow to altitude, and then perform the landing upon return to Blairstown. The second pilot would handle the flight controls during free flight over the ridges. The departure and initial climb were uneventful.

According to an interview, the second pilot reported that the PIC called for the disconnect from the tow plane when the glider was at 2,500 feet msl. After release, the second pilot took control of the glider. However, the updraft had disappeared, and the second pilot turned the glider toward the airport. The glider then encountered a strong downdraft, and subsequently settled into trees on the top of a ridge line.

The PIC reported: "...without any warning whatsoever...[the second pilot] released us from the tow plane. Because...[the second pilot] was leaning to the right during the tow, I also had a clear view of the tow release handle, and the altimeter, both of which were located on the left side of the panel in the front cockpit. I saw...[the second pilot] release, and noted that the altimeter read 2,000 ft. msl (approximately 500 feet agl in this position. [the second pilot]... took forcible command of the aircraft and made a right turn to a northerly heading...."

The PIC further reported, that the glider, under the control of the second pilot, continued to descend, and settled into trees on top of the ridge. The total flight time was less than two minutes.

The 1454 weather observation from Aeroflex-Andover Airport (12N), Andover, New Jersey, which was located 12 nm east of Blairstown, included winds from 020 degrees, at 12 knots, with gusts to 16 knots. The winds were variable from 340 degrees to 100 degrees.

According to records from the FAA, both pilots held airline transport pilot ratings, and flight instructor ratings for airplanes. Neither pilot held a glider flight instructor rating. The glider rating for the PIC was at the private pilot level, and for the second pilot, it was at the commercial level.

The total flight experience of the PIC was 17,940 hours, with 38 hours in gliders, including 20 hours in make and model. The total flight experience of the second pilot was 11,780 hours, with 1,600 hours in gliders, none in make and model.

NTSB Identification: LAX02LA277
Accident occurred: Saturday, September 07, 2002 at Peoria, AZ
Aircraft: Schempp-Hirth Ventus-B, registration: N114RP
Injuries: 1 Fatal

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On September 7, 2002, at 1615, a Schempp-Hirth Ventus-B non-powered glider, N114RP, was destroyed when it impacted Lake Pleasant while maneuvering near Peoria, Arizona. The glider was registered to and operated by the pilot. The private pilot, sole occupant of the glider, sustained fatal injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan was not filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The local flight originated from the Pleasant Valley Airport, Peoria, Arizona, at 1400.

According to initial reports, the glider pilot radioed the Turf Soaring School, located at the Pleasant Valley Airport, and stated that he would be executing a precautionary landing to a boat ramp area along Lake Pleasant. Witnesses at the lake reported that the glider over flew the intended landing area from south to north and then turned and flew over the lake. The glider was approximately 100-200 feet above the water when the glider pitched-up, stalled, and impacted the lake.

At 1553, the weather observation facility at the Deer Valley Airport (DVT), Phoenix, Arizona, (located 14 miles southeast of the accident site) reported a few clouds at 12,000 feet, visibility 10 miles, wind from 150 degrees at 10 knots, temperature 88 degrees Fahrenheit, dew point 66 degrees Fahrenheit, and an altimeter setting of 29.77 inches of Mercury.

At 1634, a special weather observation was issued from DVT and the following weather conditions were reported: scattered clouds at 2,500 feet, broken clouds at 6,000 feet, and overcast clouds at 8,500 feet. The visibility was reported as 2.5 miles in heavy rain and mist, wind from 230 degrees at 14 knots gusting to 26 knots, temperature 77 degrees Fahrenheit, dew point 73 degrees Fahrenheit, and an altimeter setting of 29.81 inches of Mercury. The remarks section of the observation reported that the peak wind occurred at 1626 from 210 degrees at 26 knots, the wind shifted to 230 degrees at 17 knots, rain began 5 minutes after the hour, rain showers with unknown intensities to the southeast and southwest, and lightning observed in the distant southwest.

NTSB Identification: FTW02FA243
Accident occurred: Monday, September 02, 2002 at Decatur, TX
Aircraft: Schweizer SGS 1-34, registration: N2691H
Injuries: 1 Fatal

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On September 2, 2002, approximately 1800 central daylight time, a Schweizer SGS 1-34 glider, N2691H, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain during the final approach for landing at the Decatur Municipal Airport near Decatur, Texas. The glider was registered to and operated by North Texas Soaring of Decatur. The private pilot, sole occupant, was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan was not filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The local flight departed the Decatur Municipal Airport, approximately 1745.

A witness reported that he observed the glider turn final for runway 16, and it appeared to line up with the taxiway. The witness further reported that the glider appeared to "stall." The glider nosed down, descended, and impacted the ground north of the taxiway.

August 2002 (3 Accidents)

NTSB Identification: LAX02LA261
Accident occurred: Friday, August 23, 2002 at Orland, CA
Aircraft: AB Sportine Aviacija GENESIS 2, registration: N422DT
Injuries: 1 Minor

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On August 23, 2002, about 1630 Pacific daylight time, an AB Sportine Aviacija Genesis 2, N422DT, collided with a fence during the landing rollout near Orland, California. The glider was operated by the pilot/owner under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91, and sustained substantial damage. The airline transport pilot (ATP) glider rated pilot, the sole occupant, received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local area flight that departed a private dirt strip (Crazy Creek Soaring) in Middletown, California, about 1300. The flight was scheduled to terminate at the private dirt strip.

According to the pilot, while soaring above high terrain the glider lost lift. He decided to depart the area for lower terrain to locate a place to land. The pilot reported that he had plenty of altitude, so he circled around the area looking for a place to land. He found a county road that was clear of obstacles. The pilot stated that he landed to the south. On the landing rollout, the left wing caught a fence post and pulled the glider 90 degrees from its original direction of travel. A barbwire fence went through the canopy and struck the top of his head. The pilot stated that there were no mechanical anomalies noted with the glider.

NTSB Identification: FTW02LA237
Accident occurred: Thursday, August 15, 2002 at Hobbs, NM
Aircraft: Schweizer SGS 1-26B, registration: N696U
Injuries: 1 Serious

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On August 15, 2002, approximately 1600 mountain daylight time, a Schweizer SGS 1-26B glider, N696U, was substantially damaged when it struck a fence during a forced landing to a field near Hobbs, New Mexico. The private pilot, sole occupant of the glider, sustained serious injuries. The glider was registered to and operated by the Hobbs Soaring Society Inc., of Hobbs. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan was not filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The local flight departed the Hobbs Lea County Regional Airport, Hobbs, approximately 1400.

According to the FAA inspector, who responded to the accident site, the pilot reported that she inititated a "forced landing" to the field because the glider got caught into a downdraft. While attempting to land in the field, the glider struck a wire fence. The glider came to rest upright on the ground and tangled in the fence wire. The inspector reported that the both wing spars were bent and the canopy was destroyed.

NTSB Identification: NYC02FA159
Accident occurred: Saturday, August 10, 2002 at Hilltown, PA
Aircraft: Schempp-Hirth Standard Cirrus, registration: N47SS
Injuries: 1 Fatal

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On August 10, 2002, about 1350 eastern daylight time, a Schempp-Hirth Standard Cirrus, N47SS, was destroyed when it collided with terrain during takeoff at the Philadelphia Gliderport (0PA0), Hilltown, Pennsylvania. The certificated private pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local flight. No flight plan had been filed for the personal flight that was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

According to a witness, the pilot was in good spirits when he assembled the glider and prepared it for flight. He and the pilot then performed a flight control check. However, the witness only observed the control movements, and not the movement of the cockpit controls.

In preparation for takeoff from runway 25, the glider was attached to a 200-foot tow line and positioned behind the tow plane, a Cessna 305. A wing walker reported that he held the wings in a level position as the takeoff was initiated. As the glider gained speed, and he could no longer keep up with it, he turned his back to the takeoff and walked back to the starting point.

A third witness reported seeing the glider on the ground after the tow plane had become airborne.

A fourth witness reported: "...The glider became airborne and began to rise above the tow-plane. It appeared that after the glider continued to rise, the glider pilot took corrective action to get down to the correct position, but over-shot the mark....the glider appeared to be starting to PIO [pilot induced oscillation]...In the 2nd PIO the glider did not appear to be excessively high - maybe 5 to 10 feet above the ground. In this second PIO the glider did make contact with the ground. The glider then started a 3rd PIO - this time it got some what high - maybe 20 to 30 feet. The glider then headed down to the ground at a steeper angle than the previous two PIOs. Upon impact, I witnessed material parting company with the glider...The wings flexed downward severely, and I thought that at that time a wing might break...The glider bounced up, and then appeared to fly straight with wings level and the fuselage facing directly down the runway, at a slight angle of descent...Suddenly the glider appeared to accelerate and pitch up into a steep climb. It looked similar to the beginning of a winch launch. The climb angle continued to increase at a steady rate, and the glider slowed to a stall in a nose high attitude, which appeared to be well above 60 degrees above [the] horizon. The glider then quickly pitched downward and impacted in a nose down attitude."

Other witnesses reported similar observations, and that the wing spoilers were extended as the glider was climbing.

The tow plane pilot reported that initially, the tow was normal. He then felt his airplane being pulled nose left and low by movement of the glider. The tow rope broke before the tow plane pilot could disconnect the glider.

Examination of the turf runway revealed two ground impact marks in line with each other, and separated by about 145 feet, on a heading of 240 degrees magnetic. The first impact mark was 13 feet long, and about 4 inches wide, and the second impact mark was 28 feet long, with a similar width. Another ground scar was found parallel to, and 24 feet, 6 inches, to the right side of the 2nd impact mark. The smaller ground scar was 8 feet 6 inches long, and about 1 1/2 inches wide.

At the end of the second impact mark, pieces of curved plexiglass were found. In addition, items that had been located inside the cockpit were also found in this area. A debris trail extended for 110 feet from the start of the second impact mark. The tow rope, which had failed near the tow plane attach point and had separated from the glider, was found within the second ground impact debris field.

The glider came to rest at the edge of a mowed area of grass, about 740 feet from the start of the second ground impact mark, on a magnetic heading of 258 degrees. The glider was inverted, and orientated toward a heading of 170 degrees magnetic. Small pieces of grass were found imbedded in the leading edge of the right wing. Both wings had multiple compressive fractures along their length. The wing spoilers were extended on both wings.

The fuselage was crushed rearward and the fiberglass shell that retained the cockpit was shattered. The aft fuselage was intact to the vertical stabilizer, where there was a circumferential fracture in the fiberglass. The vertical stabilizer was intact, with the separated rudder laying nearby. The stabilator was mounted on top of the vertical stabilizer. The view window on the top of the stabilator, used to check engagement of the C-hook, was in place and not obscured. The stabilator was jammed in a leading edge up, trailing edge down position.

Flight control continuity was verified to the rudder and ailerons. Breaks were found in the elevator control system within the crushed cockpit area. All breaks occurred at other than connections between control rods, and all breaks were bright and granular in appearance. Elevator control through the fuselage pushrods, and into the vertical stabilizer, was verified. The C-hook, which was mounted on the end of the elevator control push rod and was used to engage the roller bearing on the stabilator, was found positioned in front of, and not connected to the roller bearing.

The flight control system of another Standard Cirrus was examined. Initially, the stabilator was not attached to the vertical stabilizer. To attach it, the stabilator was positioned with the leading edge down about 45 degrees. It was then lowered, positioning the roller bearing in front of the C-hook. The stabilator was then rotated leading-edge-up to the horizontal position, while two alignment pins and a locking pin were engaged. Once the three pins were engaged, the stabilator was locked in place. It was possible to mount and lock the stabilator to the vertical fin with the C-hook in front of, and not engaged with, the roller bearing.

When the C-hook was not engaged with the roller bearing, movement of the cockpit control stick still brought about a corresponding movement of the stabilator. However, the movement was outside the range specified by the type certificate sheet for the glider of + 2.65 inches and -1.77 inches.

According to records from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the pilot held a private pilot certificate with airplane single and multi-engine land, and instrument airplane ratings. In addition, he held a glider rating. FAA records indicated a total flight experience of about 3,000 hours.

The pilot was a member of the Philadelphia Glider Council, which operated the Philadelphia Gliderport.

According to the pilot's glider logbook and Glider Council records, the pilot's total glider flight experience was about 70 hours, with about 25 hours in the accident glider, and included at least 17 flights.

Based upon available records, the accident glider was the first glider that the pilot had assembled. Witnesses reported that the pilot experienced difficulty with the assembly.

July 2002 (8 Accidents)

NTSB Identification: SEA02LA140
Accident occurred: Wednesday, July 31, 2002 at Belgrade, MT
Aircraft: Blanik L-13, registration: N70741
Injuries: 2 Minor

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On July 31, 2002, approximately 1445 mountain daylight time, a Blanik L-13, N70741, impacted a ditch while on landing roll at Gallatin Field Airport, Belgrade, Montana. The aircraft was owned by Big Sky Soaring Inc., and operated by Sunbird Aviation. The private pilot and his passenger received minor injuries, and the glider sustained substantial damage. The 14 CFR Part 91 personal pleasure flight departed Gallatin Field Airport, Belgrade, Montana, approximately one hour prior to the accident, and was being operated in visual meteorological conditions. No flight plan had been filed.

The pilot intentionally landed in tall grass short of the threshold on runway 30. The touchdown was uneventful, however, while on landing roll, the glider encountered a large ditch which had not previously been noticed by the pilot.

NTSB Identification: FTW02LA219
Accident occurred: Sunday, July 21, 2002 at Briggs, TX
Aircraft: Schempp-Hirth Nimbus-2C, registration: N141SF
Injuries: 1 Uninjured

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On July 21, 2002, approximately 1730 central daylight time, a Schempp-Hirth K.G. Nimbus-2C glider, N141SF, was substantially damaged during the landing roll on a grass airstrip at the private FLF Gliderport, Briggs, Texas. The commercial pilot, sole occupant and registered owner of the glider, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan was not filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The local flight departed the private FLF Gliderport approximately 1300.

The pilot reported that during the landing roll on runway 16 (4,500 feet in length and 300 feet in width), the right wing dropped and caught the tall grass. Subsequently, the glider ground- looped and spun 180 degrees. The tailboom was fractured at the leading edge of the stabilizer. The wing span of the glider is approximately 66 feet in width. The pilot stated the wind was approximately 3 to 5 knots from the south.

NTSB Identification: CHI02CA201
Accident occurred: Saturday, July 20, 2002 at New Douglas, IL
Aircraft: Schweizer 1-26B, registration: N111HK
Injuries: 1 Uninjured

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On July 20, 2002, at 1500 central daylight time, a Schweizer model 1-26B glider, N111HK, piloted by a student pilot, was substantially damaged when it struck a pole while on final approach to runway 18 (2,500 feet x 200 feet, turf) at the Silver Creek Gliderport (3IL1), New Douglas, Illinois. The flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The pilot was not injured.

NTSB Identification: LAX02LA231
Accident occurred: Tuesday, July 16, 2002 at Tonopah, NV
Aircraft: Schleicher ASW-27, registration: N127HC
Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Uninjured

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On July 16, 2002, about 1316 Pacific daylight time, a Schleicher ASW-27, N127HC, veered off the runway during the takeoff roll at the Tonopah (uncontrolled) Airport, Tonopah, Nevada. The glider collided with a spectator and an automobile. The commercial certificated glider pilot was not injured. The glider sustained substantial damage, and the spectator was seriously injured. The glider was owned and operated by the pilot. The accident occurred during a sanctioned Soaring Society of America event (air race) known as the United States 15-Meter National Soaring Championships. The pilot was operating under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The flight was originating at the time of the accident.

The pilot indicated to the National Transportation Safety Board investigator that his wife was serving as his ground crew. During the initial portion of the takeoff roll from runway 15, she was responsible for holding the glider's right wing level until the pilot could acquire sufficient aerodynamic control to prevent the wings from contacting the ground.

Spokespersons for the soaring event indicated to the Safety Board investigator that there was no evidence of any irregularities with the initial portion of the aero tow. However, a few seconds after the glider commenced rolling down the runway the wing runner no longer maintained contact with the glider's wing, and it dropped to the ground. Thereafter, the glider yawed right and veered off the edge of the 80-foot-wide runway. The glider then collided with a county employee who was standing 3.5 feet beyond the edge of a theoretical "clear zone." The lateral distance between the runway's right side and the county employee (point of impact) was 78 feet.

Event spokespersons additionally reported that the clear zone had not been delineated by specific markers or signs. They indicated, however, that the county employee was familiar with the airport. He had performed previous maintenance on the airport's facilities. At the time of the accident the county employee was believed to have been positioned beyond the "clear zone" for personal reasons.

According to an event spokesperson, about the time of the accident the surface wind was from the southwest. Its speed was about 5 knots.

NTSB Identification: SEA02LA130
Accident occurred: Friday, July 12, 2002 at Laurel, MT
Aircraft: Thurmond Moni, registration: N9104S
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On July 12, 2002, about 1020 mountain daylight time, a homebuilt Moni motorized glider, N9104S, registered to and operated by the pilot as a 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight, experienced an in-flight separation of the propeller blade. The pilot initiated a forced landing to a field near Laurel, Montana. During the landing roll, the landing gear sheared off. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed. The glider was substantially damaged and the private pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. The flight departed from the airport at Laurel about 20 minutes prior to the accident.

The pilot reported that the purpose of the flight was for a performance test/rate of climb test with a new propeller which had accumulated only about five hours. The pilot stated that he smelled a wood burning smell. He checked all the gauges which were okay. A few seconds later, the pilot heard a "buzzing" sound followed by a vibration. The pilot decreased engine power, then increased the power and the sound and vibration followed the engine changes also decreasing and increasing. About 30 seconds later, the pilot felt a "real bad vibration" and he shut the engine off. The pilot initiated a forced landing to a field. During the landing roll on the soft terrain, the landing gear sheared off. After the accident, the pilot noted that one of the blades of the wooden propeller was missing.

NTSB Identification: LAX02LA215
Accident occurred: Friday, July 05, 2002 at Incline Village, NV
Aircraft: Rolladen-Schneider LS8-18, registration: N818JF
Injuries: 1 Fatal

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On July 5, 2002, at an undetermined time, a Rolladin-Schneider glider model LS8-18, N818JF, collided with mountanous terrain about 10 miles southeast of Incline Village, Nevada. The glider was operated by the pilot/owner under 14 CFR Part 91. The airline transport rated pilot received fatal injuries. The glider was substantially damaged. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The personal flight originated about 1200 on July 5, 2002, at Truckee, California, after an airplane tow.

The sailplane/glider was reported overdue on July 6, 2002, at 0031 Pacific daylight time. The wreckage was located at 0726.

NTSB Identification: IAD02LA071
Accident occurred: Friday, July 05, 2002 at Unionville, PA
Aircraft: Burkhart Grob G103 TWIN ASTIR, registration: N4446W
Injuries: 2 Uninjured

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On July 5, 2002, at approximately 1400 eastern daylight time, a Burkhart Grob G103 Twin Astir glider, N4446W, was substantially damaged after it landed short of runway 7 at the Ridge Soaring Gliderport (79N) Unionville, Pennsylvania. The certificated commercial pilot and passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

A witness observed the glider when it was on a short final approach for runway 7. He said the glider appeared low and touched down short of the runway in a field with crops about 2 1/2 feet high. The glider traveled about 20 feet then contacted a ditch that separated the field from the approach end of runway 7. The left wing of the glider came up and the glider pivoted on the right wing. The witness said the tail boom was fractured and remained attached to the airframe by pushrods.

The witness said he talked to the pilot after the accident. According to the witness, the pilot said he lowered the glider's altitude on final approach to avoid a collision with a tow plane and glider that had just departed runway 25. The pilot said this avoidance maneuver contributed to the accident.

Additionally, the witness said the winds were from the northwest at 5 to 10 knots.

Two Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspectors performed an examination of the glider. According to an inspector, the fuselage was fractured aft of the wings.

Weather at University Park Airport, 4 NM southeast, at 1347, included wind from 360 degrees at 8 knots, and visibility 20 statute miles.

NTSB Identification: DEN02LA067
Accident occurred: Monday, July 01, 2002 at Jackson, WY
Aircraft: Schreder RS-15, registration: N33515
Injuries: 1 Fatal

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On July 1, 2002, at 1700 mountain daylight time, a Schreder RS-15 glider, N33515, piloted by a commercial glider pilot, was destroyed when it impacted on the north face of Grand Teton Mountain (elevation 13,770 feet mean sea level), approximately 200 feet below the summit. The accident site was located 17 miles north of Jackson, Wyoming. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The personal flight was being conducted under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91without a flight plan. The pilot sustained fatal injuries. The local flight originated at Driggs, Idaho, approximately 1600.

A witness observed the glider circling the summit block of Grand Teton Mountain. The witness reported seeing the glider proceed southeast to northwest. The glider's left wing contacted the mountain approximately 150 feet below the summit. The witness reported seeing the wing crumple and then hearing a loud noise. The glider then disappeared behind the north side of the mountain.

Ground observers for the National Park Service reported locating the wreckage the following morning. The glider wreckage was spread down the north face of Grand Teton Mountain beginning approximately 200 feet below the summit and extending down the mountain approximately 1,500 feet. A wing was identified as resting approximately 700 feet below the summit in the wreckage path.

At 1658, the Aviation Routine Weather Report for Jackson Hole Airport, 144 degrees at 8 miles from the accident site, was clear skies, visibility 10 statute miles, temperature 75 degrees Fahrenheit, dew point not reported, winds 240 degrees at 19 knots with gusts to 28 knots, and an altimeter setting of 30.18 inches of Mercury.

June 2002 (1 Accident)

NTSB Identification: IAD02LA059
Accident occurred: Sunday, June 16, 2002 at Woodstock, VA
Aircraft: Schleicher ASK21, registration: N341KS
Injuries: 2 Minor

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On June 16, 2002, about 1545 eastern daylight time, a Schleicher ASK21 glider, N341KS, was substantially damaged during a collision with terrain while maneuvering near Woodstock, Virginia. The certificated commercial pilot and passenger received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

According to the pilot, he departed the Front Royal-Warren County Airport (FRR), Front Royal, Virginia, behind a tow airplane about 1530, and flew toward the Massanutten Ridge. The glider was released from the tow airplane in the vicinity of "Signal Knob," and flew for about 10 miles along the ridge.

In a written statement, the pilot said:

"While ridge soaring along the Massanutten mountain, I failed to recognize that the wind speed necessary to generate sufficient orographic lift had diminished, then failed to execute an alternate plan of turning toward the Shenandoah valley while I had enough altitude above the trees to safely make the turn."

The pilot reported that when he attempted to make the turn toward the valley, "into very weak ridge lift," the glider stalled and "mushed" into the trees. The glider slid through the trees, and then impacted the ground in a nose low attitude. The pilot stated that he evaluated the weather conditions prior to his departure by visual observation, and talking to other pilots. He noted there was an overcast cloud layer at about 4,000 feet, and the shadows from the clouds demonstrated there was "good orographic lift" in the area. The winds at the surface were from 270 degrees at 10 knots, and at the ridgetop they were from 270 degrees at about 15-20 knots.

The pilot reported approximately 445 hours of total flight experience, 186 of which were in make and model. He also reported there were no mechanical deficiencies with the glider.

According to the pilot, the glider sustained substantial damage to both wings, the fuselage, and the horizontal stabilizer.

Weather reported at Winchester Regional Airport (OKV), Winchester, Virginia, at 1540, included wind from 280 degrees at 12 knots, gusting to 17 knots, 10 miles visibility, and clear skies.

May 2002 (3 Accidents)

NTSB Identification: CHI02LA131
Accident occurred: Friday, May 10, 2002 at Union, IL
Aircraft: Glaser-Dirks-Flugzeubau DG-100G, registration: N169LM
Injuries: 1 Serious

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On May 10, 2002, at 1400 central daylight time, a Glaser-Dirks-Flugzeubau DG-100G, N169LM, piloted by a commercial pilot, sustained substantial damage during an aborted takeoff on runway 27 (2,300 feet by 100 feet, dry/turf) at the Sky Soaring Airport (55LL), Union, Illinois. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The personal flight was being operated under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91 without a flight plan. The pilot reported serious injuries. The local flight was originating at the time of the accident.

According to the pilot's written statement, the accident occurred during an aero-tow launch. The pilot reported, "When I was ready to launch, I gave the wing-runner the signal to lift the wing and he did. I [signaled] the tow plane to begin take-off. At the start of the take-off roll, I gave a little right rudder input as the glider was veering left of the intended path. Almost immediately I saw the nose of the glider was moving very erratically. I decided to attempt to abort the launch by pulling the release." The pilot stated that after the tow-rope release was made, "... the plane was a few feet above the ground and it was out of control." The pilot reported that the glider impacted the terrain on the north side of the runway.

A weather observation station, located at the De Kalb Taylor Municipal Airport (DKB), about 16 nautical miles (nm) from the accident site on a 213 degrees magnetic heading, recorded the weather conditions approximately 8 minutes after the accident as:
Observation Time: 1408
Wind: 260 degrees magnetic at 15 knots gusting to 18 knots
Visibility: 10 statute miles
Sky Condition: Sky Clear
Temperature: 17 degrees Celsius
Dew Point: -13 degrees Celsius
Pressure: 30.30 inches-of-mercury

NTSB Identification: NYC02LA092
Accident occurred: Sunday, May 05, 2002 at Saratoga Spring, NY
Aircraft: Blanik L-13, registration: N711KR
Injuries: 2 Uninjured

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On May 5, 2002, about 1300 eastern daylight time, a Blanik L-13 (glider) N711KR, was substantially damaged during an off airport forced landing, near the Saratoga Springs Airport (5B2), Saratoga Springs, New York. The certificated flight instructor and student pilot were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local instructional flight. No flight plan was filed, and the flight was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

According to the flight instructor, he and his student boarded the glider, and departed. Once airborne, the glider was towed to 1,500 feet agl, and then was released from the tow-plane about 1-mile east of the airport. After release, the glider continued to climb to 3,000 feet agl. The student then maneuvered the glider to the south to work several thermals, and then to the northeast.

After flying for approximately 1/2 hour, the instructor told the student to proceed back to the airport, and enter the traffic pattern. While en route and approximately 1.4 miles from the airport at 1,300 to 1,400 feet agl, the glider encountered "heavy sink." The instructor checked the variometer and noted a 1,000-foot per minute descent. He then told the student to increase airspeed in an attempt to fly out of the sink.

When the glider was approximately 0.7 mile from the airport, the instructor realized they were not going to make the runway. He took the controls, and because of insufficient altitude to maneuver, setup for a downwind landing to a softball field. The glider touched down in the field, and the instructor executed a ground loop to the left to avoid hitting a fence straight on. The right wing struck the fence, and the glider came to a stop. Examination of the glider revealed about 5 feet of the wing had broken off from the impact. The instructor added that the glider had a 28:1 glide ratio and was capable of flying 6.8 miles from an altitude of 1,300 feet agl.

A weather observation was taken about 9 minutes before the accident at the Albany International Airport (ALB), Albany, New York, which was located 21 miles to the south of the accident site, and 285 feet msl. According to the observation, the wind was variable at 4 knots, visibility was 10 miles, sky was clear, temperature was 68 degrees Fahrenheit, dew point was 34 degrees Fahrenheit, and the altimeter setting was 30.21 inches of mercury.

Another weather observation was taken about 7 minutes before the accident at the Floyd Bennett Memorial Airport (GFL), Glens Falls, New York, which was located 24 miles to the northeast of the accident site, and 328 feet msl. According to the observation, the wind was variable at 5 knots, visibility was 10 miles, sky was clear, temperature was 66 degrees Fahrenheit, dew point was 36 degrees Fahrenheit, and the altimeter setting was 30.19 inches of mercury.

NTSB Identification: IAD02LA048
Accident occurred: Sunday, May 05, 2002 at Fairfield, PA
Aircraft: Burkhart Grob G103 Twin Astir, registration: N5364G
Injuries: 1 Uninjured

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On May 5, 2002, at 1210 eastern daylight time, a Burkhart Grob G103, N5364G, was substantially damaged during collision with terrain while landing at the Mid-Atlantic Soaring Center (W73), Fairfield, Pennsylvania. The certificated private pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight that originated at W73 and conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

In a written statement, the pilot explained that he was on the second flight of the day when he approached the Mid-Atlantic Soaring Center for landing. According to the pilot:

"I was flying a left-hand landing pattern. There was a crosswind from left to right across the runway. As I turned onto final and began to fly the final leg of my approach, I realized that I had let the aircraft drift to the right, so that I was no longer aligned with my intended landing area - the grassy area left of the paved runway (33), known as 33L.

"I was far enough to the right that the only safe landing area was the grass area to the right of the paved runway, known as 33R. The area to the right of this could not be used for a safe landing, as there was a gully crossing the area, then buildings and vehicles. In concentrating so much on trying to align the aircraft 33R, I did not pay sufficient attention to the position of the spoilers, keeping them out too far, so that I lost altitude more rapidly that I had expected.

"I was flying with the left wing slightly low. Because of my rapid altitude loss, I was not able to level the wings in time to prevent the left wing tip from striking the ground. This caused the aircraft to rotate to the left, and the fuselage struck the ground at an angle pointing to the left, then bounced and skidded in a ground loop that imposed a sideward load on the fuselage. As you know from having seen the aircraft, the tail boom was broken by the side load and the rudder was torn loose."

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with a glider rating. He reported 440 glider flights, for a total of 214 hours of flight experience. His most recent biennial flight review was April 7, 2002.

The pilot said he had performed four glider flights in the week prior to the accident, two of which were in the Burkhart Grob G103. Prior to those two flights, the pilot said his experience in the G103 had been several years prior to the accident.

The weather reported at Hagerstown, Maryland, 18 miles west of the accident site included clear skies with variable winds at 3 knots.

When asked about the performance and handling of the glider, the pilot said:

"The glider performed fine. It was responding as designed. Unfortunately, the inputs were not correct."

April 2002 (2 Accidents)

NTSB Identification: SEA02LA076
Accident occurred: Sunday, April 28, 2002 at Richland, WA
Aircraft: Cook RS-15, registration: none listed
Injuries: 1 Serious

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On April 28, 2002, approximately 1330 Pacific daylight time, a deregistered Cook RS-15 glider, last registered as N151EC and deregistered in April 1998 due to being destroyed (according to the FAA aircraft registry), was substantially damaged in a collision with terrain following a loss of control near Richland, Washington. The pilot of the single-seat glider, who held a student pilot certificate issued in October 2001 (according to the FAA airman registry), was seriously injured in the accident. Visual meteorological conditions were reported at Pasco, Washington, at 1353, and no flight plan was filed for the 14 CFR 91 personal flight. The accident flight departed Richland, Washington, about 1300.

The towplane pilot who towed the glider to altitude reported that the aerotow was uneventful. A witness who observed the accident from another glider about 1 1/2 miles from the accident aircraft, and who was in radio communication with the accident pilot, reported that the accident flight was the pilot's first flight in the accident aircraft. He reported that the accident pilot was thermaling at the time. He stated that the accident pilot radioed that he had caught a "hot one", and that the accident pilot called his altitude as 2,900 feet. The witness reported that the accident pilot was thermaling to the right, and was in a steep bank angle at the time. The witness stated that about 1 minute after the accident pilot's radio call, the accident aircraft's right wing dropped, then its nose dropped. The witness stated that he then momentarily lost sight of the accident aircraft, and that when he regained sight of the aircraft it was spinning to the left. The witness stated that although he tried to call spin recovery instructions over the radio to the accident pilot, the aircraft never came out of the spin. He stated the aircraft maintained a generally stabilized spin all the way to the ground, although it appeared to flatten and slow its rotation rate during approximately the last three turns prior to ground impact. The witness stated that the glider impacted the ground in a perfectly flat attitude.

Investigators have not yet been able to interview the pilot, due to the severity of his injuries. It has also not yet been determined whether or not the accident pilot had an instructor endorsement for the accident glider. The FAA aircraft registry listed the aircraft's airworthiness certificate information as "none". However, an FAA inspector who responded to the accident scene and examined the wreckage did not report finding any evidence of pre-impact malfunctions of the glider's airframe or flight controls.

According to information on the Schreder RS-15 sailplane design obtained from the Internet (www.sailplanedirectory.com), the accident glider type is capable of carrying up to 200 pounds of water ballast. It is not currently known how much water ballast, if any, was loaded for the accident flight. The pilot's weight is given in the FAA airman registry as 205 pounds.

NTSB Identification: IAD02LA042
Accident occurred: Thursday, April 11, 2002 at New Smithville, PA
Aircraft: WSK PZL PW-5, registration: N908BT
Injuries: 1 Uninjured

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On April 11, 2002, at 1500 eastern daylight time, a WSK PZL PW-5 glider, N908BT, was substantially damaged during a forced landing near New Smithville, Pennsylvania. The certificated private pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

In a telephone interview, the pilot stated that he departed the Blairstown Airport (1N7), Blairstown, New Jersey around 1300. He intended to perform an "out-and-back" cross-country flight from Blairstown to Kutztown, Pennsylvania, and then return to Blairstown. The pilot reported that during the return trip to Blairstown, the lift began to dissipate, and he decided to 'land out' in a field below him. He performed a traffic pattern entry to the field, and prepared for a forced landing to the east. While on the base leg, the airplane struck the top of a row of 20-foot tall 'hedge trees' at the edge of the field. The airplane came to rest suspended in one of the trees.

The pilot stated that he obtained weather information from the Internet prior to his flight, which reported winds from 130 degrees, at 14 knots.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector performed an on-scene examination of the airplane. According to the inspector, the tail of the glider was separated and substantial damage was observed to both wings. A flight control continuity check revealed no mechanical deficiencies with the glider.

The winds reported at the Lehigh Valley International Airport (ABE), Allentown, Pennsylvania, at 1451, were from 120 degrees at 9 knots.

March 2002 (2 Accidents)

NTSB Identification: FTW02LA092
Accident occurred: Tuesday, March 12, 2002 at Moriarty, NM
Aircraft: Schleicher AS-W19, registration: N333US
Injuries: 1 Minor

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On March 12, 2002, at 1600 mountain standard time, a Schleicher AS-W19 glider, N333US, registered to and operated by the pilot, was substantially damaged when impacted the ground while maneuvering to land on runway 26 at the Moriarty Municipal Airport, Moriarty, New Mexico. The private pilot, who was the sole occupant, sustained minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed for the Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The flight originated at 1557 from the Moriarty Airport.

NTSB Identification: IAD02LA036
Accident occurred: Sunday, March 10, 2002 at Strausburg, VA
Aircraft: Schweizer 1-26A, registration: N3878A
Injuries: 1 Minor

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On March 10, 2002, at 1010 eastern standard time, a Schweizer SGS 1-26A glider, N3878A, was substantially damaged during a forced landing near Strausburg, Virginia. The certificated private pilot received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight which originated at the Front Royal Airport (FRR), Front Royal, Virginia, at 1000. No flight plan was filed for the personal flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

During a telephone interview, the pilot stated that he departed with the tow airplane, from runway 27 at Front Royal. The glider was towed to altitude, and when it was released from the tow airplane, the pilot flew towards the northeast portion of the Massanutten Ridge to use the "booming ridge lift." The pilot reported that as he approached the ridge, the glider began to loose altitude, and when he arrived at the northeast corner, there was "no useable lift." He decided to perform a forced landing to a field, which was oriented on a 300 degree heading. The pilot flew a traffic pattern approach to the field and during the downwind leg, the glider continued to loose altitude. As the pilot made a right turn onto the base leg of the traffic pattern, the glider's right wing struck a tree and the airplane impacted the ground in a 70-degree nose down attitude.

The pilot stated that he received an "outlook briefing" about 24 hours before his flight, which forecasted the winds to be from 290 degrees at 20 knots, with higher gusts. He did not receive an additional weather briefing; however, his visual observation of two wind socks at the airport indicated the winds were in agreement with the forecast.

The pilot reported about 90 hours of total flight experience. He also stated there were no mechanical deficiencies with the glider.

February 2002 (2 Accidents)

NTSB Identification: LAX02LA079
Accident occurred: Monday, February 04, 2002 at Warner Springs, CA
Aircraft: Schweizer 2-33A, registration: N34292
Injuries: 1 Uninjured

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On February 4, 2002, about 1215 hours Pacific standard time, a Schweizer SGS 2-33A, N34292, collided with trees on final and landed hard on runway 26L at the Warner Springs Gliderport (CL35), Warner Springs, California. The glider, owned by Associated Gliders of Southern California and rented by the pilot, was operated under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. The glider sustained substantial damage. The student pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local area instructional flight and no flight plan had been filed. The flight originated from CL35.

The Safety Board Investigator-in-Charge (IIC) interviewed the student pilot. The pilot stated that he was doing pattern work. The takeoffs were to be circuit tows, and he was to practice frontal slips and normal landings. He stated that this was the first tow of the morning. He was about 800 feet above ground level (agl) and the approach seemed normal; however, there was a little turbulence. He turned on final and attempted a frontal slip to a landing. The glider started to drift to the left. The student pilot stated that he must have cross-controlled the glider and could not return the glider to runway centerline. He maneuvered to avoid a tree and stalled the glider as the left wing contacted the tree. The student pilot stated that the glider "pancaked into the runway."

NTSB Identification: LAX02LA098
Accident occurred: Thursday, February 28, 2002 at Peoria, AZ
Aircraft: Schweizer 2-32, registration: N2466W
Injuries: 1 Serious, 2 Uninjured

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On February 28, 2002, about 1720 hours mountain standard time, a Schweizer SGS 2-32, N2466W, collided with a man on a bicycle while on short final for runway 23L at the Pleasant Valley Airport, Peoria, Arizona. The glider, owned and operated by Turf Soaring School and rented by the pilot, was operated under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91, and sustained substantial damage. The pilot and passenger were not injured; however, the man on the bicycle sustained serious injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight and no flight plan had been filed.

A deputy from the Peoria Police Department interviewed the pilot. The pilot stated that he was inbound for landing. When he turned onto final he was blinded by sun glare. He stated that the glider struck a person on a bike that was on the runway.

January 2002 (1 Accident)

NTSB Identification: NYC02LA046
Accident occurred: Tuesday, January 01, 2002 at Sterling, MA
Aircraft: LET L-23, registration: N177BB
Injuries: 1 Uninjured

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On January 1, 2002, about 1458 eastern standard time, a LET L-23 glider was substantially damaged during a forced landing near the Sterling Airport, Sterling, Massachusetts. The student pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the instructional flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

According to a Federal Aviation Administration inspector, the accident flight was the second flight of the day for the student pilot, which was conducted solo. The student stated to the inspector that the first flight was about 3 hours earlier, and it was conducted with an instructor. The student added that it was windy on the first flight. On the solo flight, as the glider was towed behind a tow plane, the student observed that the wind was blowing down the favored runway, runway 34. During the tow to altitude, the conditions were rough, with the towline going slack, and then tight, requiring the student to make corrections more often then she had ever done in the past.

As the glider approached 2,500 feet, the towline was released and the student began to practice maneuvers. During the maneuvers, the student stated that she hit her head twice on the canopy due to the turbulent conditions. About 12 minutes into the flight, the student decided to return to the airport. She entered the traffic pattern, on the downwind leg, at 1,500 feet, but further out from the runway than normal. While on the downwind leg, the student checked the operation of the airbrake and kept her hand on it as she had been taught. As the glider was turned on to the base leg, the student realized that she would not make the runway and elected to perform a forced landing to a two-lane highway. The glider touched down on the southbound lane of the elevated roadway and impacted a metal guardrail, coming to rest upright on the road.

The student reported she had accumulated about 13 hours of dual instruction, with 7 or 8 different flight instructors, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Soaring Club. She also accumulated about 1.4 hours of solo time. All of her previous flights had been conducted on days with light or calm wind conditions, with some crosswind landings.

The recorded weather at a nearby airport, about the time of the accident, included winds from 250 degrees at 13 knots, gusts to 22 knots.

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