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N297B accident description

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Crash location Unknown
Nearest city Hamptonville, NC
36.098468°N, 80.760345°W

Tail number N297B
Accident date 09 Apr 1998
Aircraft type Schleicher ASW-19B
Additional details: None

NTSB description

On April 9, 1998, about 1608 eastern daylight time, a Schleicher ASW-19B, N297B, registered to Kenlett Inc., operating as a 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight, crashed while maneuvering in the vicinity of Hamptonville, North Carolina. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The glider sustained substantial damage. The private pilot was fatally injured. The flight originated from Swan Creek Airport, Jonesville, North Carolina, about 1 hour 52 minutes before the accident.

A witness stated he was standing in his front yard when he heard a whistling noise. He looked up and observed a glider at a low altitude, estimated at about 200 feet. The airspeed was described as extremely slow, and the glider was in a right descending turn. The glider made about three to four right 360-degree turns before the nose of the glider was observed to pitch straight down, and the glider disappeared from view below the tree line. He immediately went inside the house and called 911, informing the operator that a glider had crashed.

The wreckage of N297B was located about 5 to 6 miles southeast of Swan Creek Airport, Jonesville, North Carolina, in the vicinity of Interstate 77, between highway 421 and highway 21.

Examination of the crashsite revealed the glider collided with the ground in about a 30 degree nose down attitude in a northerly direction. The landing gear and bottom of the fuselage were severely damaged, and the tail section was separated forward of the vertical stabilizer. The glider traveled about 80 feet before coming to rest in a gully.

Examination of the airframe and flight control system revealed no evidence of a precrash mechanical failure or malfunction. Continuity of the flight controls was confirmed for pitch, roll, and yaw.

Postmortem examination of the pilot was conducted by Dr. Patrick L. Lantz, Director of Autopsy Services, Wake Forrest University, Baptist Medical Center, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, on April 11, 1998. The cause of death was multiple injuries. Postmortem toxicology of specimens from the pilot was performed by the Forensic Toxicology Research Section, Federal Aviation Administration, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. These studies were negative for ethanol, acidic, and neutral drugs. Lidocane, 0.1 (ug/ml, ug/g), was detected in the blood. Morphine, 0.054 (ug/ml, ug/g), was detected in the blood, and 0.088 (ug/ml, ug/g) was detected in liver fluid.

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