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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.

2005 NTSB Accident reports


NTSB Identification: DFW05CA075.
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, February 20, 2005 in Midlothian, TX
Aircraft: Schweizer SGS1-26B, registration: N7569
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.


On February 20, 2005, approximately 1445 central standard time, a Schweizer SGS1-26B glider, N7569, registered to Texas Soaring Association (TSA) of Midlothian, Texas, and operated by the pilot, was substantially damaged when it impacted trees and the ground while on final approach to an off-airport landing area near Midlothian, Texas. The private pilot, sole occupant 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 originated from the TSA Gliderport (TA11), near Midlothian, Texas, at an unknown time.

The 360-hour private pilot reported in the Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report (NTSB Form 6120.1/2) that he was unable to find any thermal lift to assist in gaining altitude to return to TA11, and he elected to land on a nearby open field which he considered suitable for landing. The pilot stated that while on final approach to the open field, he experienced gusty headwinds resulting in an "excessive sink rate." While at an estimated altitude of 30 feet above ground level, the outer portion of the left wing struck the top of a 30-foot high tree. Subsequently, the glider nosed-over and impacted the ground, coming to rest in the upright position.

The pilot reported that at the time of the accident, the winds were from the southwest at approximately 15 knots, gusting to 20 knots.

Examination of the glider by an Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed that the tubular structure of the nose was crushed aft just forward of the instrument panel.

NTSB Identification: LAX05LA075
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, January 23, 2005 in Palmdale, CA
Aircraft: Piper PA-25, registration: N6745Z
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 23, 2005, at 1506 Pacific standard time, a Piper PA-25, N6745Z, collided with signs while performing a forced landing on a road in Palmdale, California; the forced landing was precipitated by a loss of engine power. Great Western Soaring Co. was operating the airplane under the provisions 14 CFR 91. The commercial pilot; the sole occupant, was not injured; the airplane sustained substantial damage. The local glider-towing operation departed from Crystal Airport, Llano, California, about 1455. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan had not been filed.

During an interview with a National Transportation Safety Board investigator, the pilot stated that the accident flight was his 12th tow operation of the day, which equated to about 3.2 flight hours. After departing, with a glider in tow, the pilot continued to maneuver the airplane in a climbing configuration in an effort to reach an adequate altitude for the glider to release from the line. Upon reaching 8,500 feet mean sea level (msl), about 1,000 feet above ground level (agl), the airplane's engine abruptly quit. The pilot rocked the airplane's wings from side to side, a tow-plane maneuver that signals the glider pilot to release from the tow line.

The pilot further stated that the glider released and he maneuvered the airplane north, toward a road. While approaching the road, he noted that the surface was oriented north-south, with a downward slope in the northerly direction. With power lines located parallel to the road (on the west side), and several other lines periodically running perpendicular across the road, the pilot opted to land to the south. After the automobile traffic cleared, he completed a 180-degree turn and made a three-point landing in a southerly direction, trying to maneuver on the east side of the road, away from the power lines. On the landing roll the left wing impacted a sign located on the east side of the road, and the airplane ground looped. The airplane incurred damage to the left wing spar.