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N999JB accident description

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Tail numberN999JB
Accident dateJuly 19, 2003
Aircraft typeStart & Flug H101
LocationRock Hill, NY
Near 41.6375 N, -74.595555 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On July 19, 2003, about 1730 eastern daylight time, a Start & Flug, H101 "Salto" glider, N999JB, was substantially damaged during an off-airport landing in Rock Hill, New York. The certificated private pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight that departed from Wurtsboro-Sullivan County Airport (N82), Wurtsboro, New York. No flight plan had been filed for the local flight that was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

A witness observed the accident pilot preparing his glider for flight, and reported that nothing seemed out of the ordinary with the glider. He also described the pilot as a, "by the book" person.

According to the tow-pilot, about 1500, he towed the accident glider aloft, and released him at an altitude of 2,500 feet above ground level. The tow-pilot returned to Wurtsboro, and there was no further communications with the glider. The next time the glider was observed, was just prior to the accident, when the glider was about 6.5 nautical miles northwest of the airport.

One witness, who was south of the accident site, reported that he saw the glider circling and then disappear toward the north.

Another witness, who was also south of the accident site, saw a glider approach his position from the east. He thought there was something trailing behind the glider like a parachute. The glider then disappeared behind trees.

A witness, driving south on Glen Wild Road, saw the glider traveling parallel to the road, in a southerly direction, about 200 feet above the ground. The glider made a left turn and reversed course, heading north, then disappeared below the trees. The witness continued traveling south, and when he saw the glider again, it was in the middle of the road, inverted.

The accident occurred during the hours of daylight at 41 degrees, 38.255 minutes north latitude and 74 degrees, 35.726 minutes west longitude.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single engine land, and glider (aero-tow). The pilot's last airman medical certificate was a third class and was issued on December 16, 1998. A medical certificate was not required to operate gliders. The pilot's last flight review was conducted on July 15, 2003, 4 days prior to the accident. No problems were noted during the review. According to the pilot's log book, he had accumulated a total flight experience of about 196 hours in gliders, and about 67 hours in airplanes.

The pilot had accumulated 46 hours in the H101. In the preceding 12 months, he had logged 7.9 hours in gliders, including 4.9 hours in the H101. The last logged flight in the H101 occurred on November 24, 2002. In the year 2003, he had logged 3 flights, all within the 30 days that preceded the accident, and all in a Schweizer 2-33A. The last logged flight was his flight review.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

The glider was fiberglass constructed, single seat, mid-wing design, with a butterfly tail. The glider was equipped with a single wheel in the bottom of the fuselage. The high point on top of the fuselage was the canopy over the pilot's head, which extended above the top of the fuselage. There was no roll-bar or other device to prevent injury to the pilot's head if the glider came to rest upside down. The wing span was 44.6 feet.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The 1715 weather observation from Sullivan County Airport, Monticello, New York, which was located 10 nautical miles away on a magnetic bearing of 310 degrees, included winds from 240 degrees at 8 knots with no gusts, and visibility 10 statute miles.

The 1654 weather observation from Orange County Airport, Montgomery, New York, which was located 16 nautical miles away on a magnetic bearing of 130 degrees, included winds from 240 degrees at 6 knots with visibility of 10 statute miles.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The glider was examined at the accident site on July 19, 2003. The glider was near the center of a road, upside down, and pointed in the direction it came from. The left wing tip was embedded in the dirt bank on west side of the road. The debris trail was on a magnetic heading of 050 degrees.

The ruddervators were bent outboard and had scrape marks on their inboard surfaces. Similar scrape marks were found on the nose of the glider, forward of the cockpit, and the top surfaces of both wings. The control surface on the left ruddervator was detached.

All flight controls were checked and found to be connected. Flight control continuity was confirmed to the ruddervators and ailerons, and their corresponding cockpit controls.

The speed brakes were extended on the left and right wings.

The tail cone and drag chute were missing from the glider and not recovered.

The canopy was shattered, and the canopy ring was in place.

Broken tree branches were found about 19 feet left of the center of the roadway, and about 20 feet above the road. This was 212 feet from where the glider came to rest.

Traveling in the direction of the glider, a ground scar started 161 feet from the broken tree branches. The ground scar was located 8 feet to the left of the centerline of the road and measured 6 feet long.

The glider was located an additional 51 feet further along the road, as measured to the cockpit.

MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION

The toxicological testing report from the FAA Toxicology Accident Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, was negative for drugs and alcohol for the pilot.

On July 19, 2003, an autopsy was conducted by a Forensic Pathologists for Sullivan County, New York.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The accident site was a two-lane road, with a paved width of 20 feet. There was additional clear space of about 10 feet to the west, and about 20 feet to the right from the edge of the road. A dirt bank was located on the west side of the road, and extended above the level of the road for about 4 feet. On the east side of the road, the terrain was lower. The branches of trees growing on both sides of the road arched toward the middle of the road. About 1,000 feet north of the accident site, an open field was found on the east side of the road. This open area measured in excess of 600 feet long, and 100 feet wide, with approaches over trees from either direction.

The aircraft wreckage was released to Wurtsboro Flight Service on July 20, 2003.

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