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N154SS accident description

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Crash location 36.766670°N, 113.883330°W
Reported location is a long distance from the NTSB's reported nearest city. This often means that the location has a typo, or is incorrect.
Nearest city Mesquite, NV
36.805531°N, 114.067190°W
10.5 miles away
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Tail number N154SS
Accident date 15 Jun 1996
Aircraft type Glider(AF) Burkhart Grob G102(NTSB)
Additional details: White

NTSB description

On June 15, 1996, at 1730 hours Pacific daylight time, a Burkhart Grob Flugzeugbau G102, N154SS, collided with rough terrain during an off-airstrip forced landing approximately 11 miles southeast of Mesquite, Nevada. The glider broke into several pieces and was destroyed. The private pilot was fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight which originated from Llano, California, at 1100.

According to the pilot's son, his father had purchased the glider in 1977 or 1978, and he was very familiar with its flying characteristics. During the accident flight, the pilot, along with 11 other glider pilots, was attempting to fly nonstop 500 kilometers from the point of departure.

At the beginning of the flight, the accident glider received an aero tow to 7,000 feet mean sea level whereupon the pilot released from the tow plane. No communication difficulties or glider control problems were reported during periodic radio contacts between the glider pilot and the ground crew.

Other glider pilots flying along nearby routes experienced turbulence and occasional downdrafts. The pilot's son further reported that the entire glider was found near a ridge line, and it appeared as though his father had failed to locate sufficient lift to continue his flight for an additional 11 miles to the Mesquite Municipal Airport. There were no witnesses to the accident.

Family members reported that the pilot was not currently taking medications that would have adversely affected his ability to fly. The coroner reported to the Federal Aviation Administration coordinator that insufficient remains existed to perform an autopsy or toxicological tests.

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