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N6552N accident description

New Jersey map... New Jersey list
Crash location Unknown
Nearest city Readington, NJ
40.566770°N, 74.799608°W
Tail number N6552N
Accident date 21 May 1994
Aircraft type TOWNSEND, H.L. Briegled BG-12A
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On May 21, 1994, at 1820 eastern daylight time, an experimental, home built, Briegled BG-12A, glider, N6552N, piloted by Mark D. Bottino, of Dumont, New Jersey, struck the ground while approaching to land at the Solberg-Hunterdon Airport, Readington, New Jersey. The pilot was fatally injured and the glider was destroyed by the impact. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed for the flight operating under 14 CFR Part 91.

Several witnesses saw the glider as it approached for a landing on runway 22G [grass]. One witness stated:

I saw a yellow glider coming in for a landing and noticed that it was quite high. He had flaps down and went into a slip to the left for just a few seconds, then leveled the nose for a second and then pushed the nose down toward the runway, for one second, then leveled the nose. He was about halfway down the runway and still high (approximately 150 feet). The winds were at about 5 to 6 knots from 170 degrees. At that point he made a sharp banking turn to the right at about 60 degrees and at a heading of approximately 300 degrees, the nose went vertical down into the ground at 90 degree angle.

According to a written report from FAA Inspectors, Robert H. Shapiro (Airworthiness), and Michael S. Plantz (Operations), of the Allentown Flight Standards District Office, "...this was the first day [the pilot] had flown this aircraft. He had made two successful flights in type that prior to the crash...."

Additionally, Mr. Plantz said he examined the pilot's log book, and that all previous flying time had been logged in gliders with either speed brakes or spoilers. He also said the BG-12A does not have speed brakes or spoilers, but was equipped with wing flaps.

According to the pilot's log book, the accident flight was his 11th flight in the preceding 90 days for a total time of approximately 4 hours. The accident flight his third flight in this model glider, all conducted on the day of the accident. He had a total logged flight time of 88 hours and was estimated to have approximately one hour in the accident glider at the time of the accident.

According to the FAA written report:

...The wreckage was inspected and all components of the glider were accounted for and in the immediate area...The fuselage was damaged by impact and rescue action...Inspection of the control system revealed that the flaps were separated from their attach points but the system had continuity and were in a full down position at impact as indicated by the flap handle. All other controls showed continuity throughout their respective systems...The stick torque tube had impact marks indicating that the ailerons were in a neutral position on impact. The position of the elevator could not be determined...The wing attach points were still intact, but the one piece wing had separated from the fuselage....

An autopsy was conducted by Walter Uhlman, M.D., medical examiner for Hunterdon County, New Jersey.

A toxicological exam was conducted by the FAA Civil Aero Medical Institute, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The metabolite of Marihuana was found in the blood at a level of .008 ug/ml, and in the urine at a level of .080 ug/ml.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot failed to maintain airspeed while maneuvering which resulted in an inadvertent stall/spin. A factor was the lack of experience in the make and model of glider.

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