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N153SS accident description

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Tail numberN153SS
Accident dateAugust 04, 2005
Aircraft typeBurkhart Grob G103 Twin Astir
LocationDriggs, ID
Near 43.733333 N, -111.083333 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description

On August 4, 2005, about 1515 mountain daylight time, a Burkhart Grob G103 Twin Astir glider, N153SS, registered to and operated by the pilot as a 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight, collided with the terrain at the northeast end of the Reed Memorial Airport, Driggs, Idaho. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed for the local flight. The glider was substantially damaged and the private pilot, the sole occupant, was fatally injured.

The glider's tow plane pilot reported that during the pre-tow briefing, the glider pilot stated that he wanted to do three pattern tows and one high tow. The pilot then pulled the glider around to position for the takeoff tow. The tow plane pilot stated that shortly after 1500, he started the takeoff without any problems. The pilot flew a circling turn to the right and went to mid-field and made another right turn crossing the runway, and climbing to 1,200 feet above ground level (agl) for the release. The tow pilot then circled to land on runway 21. The tow pilot stated that as he was taxiing back he noticed the glider, no higher than 75 feet agl, pitch nose down. The tow pilot stated that the glider was too low and just before it hit the ground, it looked like the nose was starting to come up. The glider collided with the ground short of runway 21 in about a 45 degree nose down attitude.

A Federal Aviation Administration Inspector from the Salt Lake City, Utah, Flight Standards District Office responded to the accident site. The inspector stated that the initial ground impact was identified by an impact crater. Following a path to the north northwest, debris fragments were located along the surface to include the tail surfaces and interior items. The main wreckage to include the wings and fuselage was located approximately 195 feet from the initial impact crater. The fuselage came to rest inverted about 600-800 feet from the end of the runway. All flight control surfaces were accounted for.

Flight and maintenance records provided to the FAA by a member of the glider club indicated that the pilot had accumulated a total flight time in all aircraft of about 144 hours. The logbook provided indicated flight time starting in the glider involved in the accident was in July 2002. About 24 hours had been accumulated since this time. The pilot held a private pilot certificate in glider operations only.

An annual inspection of the glider was accomplished on April 1, 2005. About 16 hours had been accumulated since the inspection.

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