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N7476 accident description

Kansas map... Kansas list
Crash location 37.922500°N, 97.903611°W
Nearest city Hutchinson, KS
38.060845°N, 97.929774°W
9.7 miles away
Tail number N7476
Accident date 02 Sep 2007
Aircraft type Slingsby Swallow Type T.45
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On September 2, 2007, approximately 1545 central daylight time, a Slingsby Swallow Type T.45 glider, N7476, sustained substantial damage when it impacted terrain following a loss of control during takeoff from the Sunflower Aerodrome Gliderport (SN76), Hutchinson, Kansas. The private pilot, who was the sole occupant, was seriously injured. The aircraft was registered to Wichita Soaring Association, Inc., Wichita, Kansas, and operated by the pilot. The personal flight was being conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 without a flight plan. The local flight was originating at the time of the accident.

According to the pilot's statement, the glider achieved flight as normal prior to rotation by the tow plane. As the glider continued along the runway "there seemed to be some sort of external downward force like a wind gust." The glider wheel touched the runway and the glider bounced into the air, "gaining altitude rapidly." The pilot released the glider tow line and continued straight. The pilot stated that "the tow plane was not in sight and there was an impression that the tow plane may have taken off." The pilot banked the glider to the right to return to the airport. During the turn, "the right wing stalled and the glider lost altitude rapidly." The glider impacted terrain to the west of the runway on airport property.

According to the Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident/Incident Report (NTSB Form 6120.1), Recommendation section (How could this accident/incident have been prevented?), the pilot stated, "A small turn to the right to place the glider slightly right and out of the way of the tow plane with a landing straight ahead on the remaining runway."

Examination of the accident site by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that the glider came to rest inverted. The forward fuselage was destroyed, and both wings were separated from the airframe. No anomalies were noted with the glider systems.

At 1552, the automated weather observation from Hutchinson Municipal Airport, located approximately 9 miles north of the accident site, reported variable winds at 6 knots, visibility 10 statute miles, sky clear, temperature 32 degrees Celsius, dew point 11 degrees Celsius, and an altimeter setting of 30.12 inches of Mercury.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control during a low altitude release resulting in an inadvertent stall/spin. Contributing factors were the pilot's decision to turn back to the airport at low altitude and the wind gust.

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