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N777WN accident description

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Tail numberN777WN
Accident dateJanuary 16, 2009
Aircraft typeGLASER-DIRKS DG-400
LocationVolcano, HI
Near 19.480834 N, -155.440277 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description

On January 16, 2009, about 1300 Hawaii standard time, a Glaser-Dirks GD-400 motor-glider, N777WN, collided with mountainous terrain on the southwestern slope of Mauna Loa mountain, Hawaii. The airline transport pilot operated the motor-glider under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 91. The pilot was killed, and the motor-glider was destroyed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed. The flight originated at Waimea-Kohala Airport, Kamuela, Hawaii, about 1000.

A member of the soaring association that the pilot belonged to stated that the pilot was attempting to set a record. The pilot's glider had been towed to 12,300 feet mean sea level (msl) and released some time after 1000. Around 1245, the pilot radioed that he was in the primary wave, climbing at 1,000 feet per minute, and was at 28,000 feet (msl). He then stated that he was going to crossover to Mauno Loa. At 1644, when the pilot had not returned to Waimea-Kohala Airport at the designated time, the US Coast Guard was notified of an overdue aircraft.

On January 17th, approximately 1300, search aircraft identified debris at the 7,800-foot level, on the southwest face of Mauno Loa.

(c) 2009-2011 Lee C. Baker. For informational purposes only.