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N24YB accident description

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Tail numberN24YB
Accident dateJuly 28, 2003
Aircraft typeSchleicher ASW-24E
LocationHood River, OR
Near 45.677223 N, -121.536111 W
Additional details: None

NTSB description

On July 28, 2003, at 1015 Pacific daylight time, an experimental Schleicher ASW-24E, N24YB, motorized glider, registered to and operated by the pilot as a 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight, collided with the terrain shortly after takeoff from the Hood River Airport, Hood River, Oregon. 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 fatally injured.

The previous owner reported that the pilot just purchased this glider and it was delivered to him on July 27. The owner stated that he gave the pilot a briefing on the glider and all related equipment. A cockpit checkout was also accomplished by a local flight instructor. The first flight was discussed between the previous owner, the pilot, and the flight instructor for that day. The pilot took off and climbed to approximately 5,000 feet. The pilot stowed the engine and flew around for a while. The previous owner was in radio contact with the pilot and stated that he accomplished three engine redeployments and air restarts before returning to the airport for landing. The previous owner estimated the engine run time to have been 15 minutes for the initial climb, then five minutes for each of the three engine deployments. The previous owner reported that before the first flight he estimated the fuel on board to have been approximately 2.1 gallons or approximately 40 minutes of engine run time. The owner also reported that after the accident, he noted that the same amount of fuel was still present in the spare fuel can from the day before the accident. No fuel was added after the first flight.

The glider was equipped with a Cambridge flight recorder. The recorder was downloaded by personnel from Cambridge Aero Instruments, Inc., Horn Lake, Missouri. The flight accomplished on July 27, 2003, indicated that the flight duration was one hour and ten minutes. Engine run time was 18 minutes and 40 seconds.

On July 28, the pilot took off for the second flight in this glider at 0938 for a 26 minute flight before returning to the airport. The data indicated that the engine run time was nine minutes and 20 seconds. The accident flight was the pilot's third flight in this glider.

Witnesses reported that the glider attained an altitude of approximately 300 feet above ground level when the engine lost power. The glider made a turn when it appeared to stall and then descended into a pear orchard.

A Federal Aviation Administration Inspector from the Portland, Oregon, Flight Standards District Office, Hillsboro, Oregon, responded to the accident site. The inspector reported that the glider's fuel tanks were breached. Fuel lines running to the engine were void of fuel. Control continuity was established to the engine controls. The propeller remained attached to the engine and the crankshaft rotated. Further inspection of the engine did not reveal evidence of a mechanical failure or malfunction.

At the time of the accident, the pilot held a private pilot certificate for glider operations. The pilot obtained a third class medical certificate on March 7, 1989. No waivers or limitations were indicated, and the pilot did not list any flight time at the time of the visit.

An autopsy was performed on the pilot by Karen Gunson, M.D., Oregon State Medical Examiner. The pilot's cause of death was due to chest injuries with exsanguination.

Toxicological samples were sent to the Federal Aviation Administration Civil Aeromedical Institute, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, for analysis. The results of the analysis were negative.

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