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N4206N accident description

Nevada map... Nevada list
Crash location 39.868889°N, 119.702778°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 Reno, NV
39.529633°N, 119.813803°W
24.2 miles away
Tail number N4206N
Accident date 14 Jun 2017
Aircraft type Sportine Aviacija Lak 12
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

The glider pilot reported that during an aerotow takeoff, after becoming distracted by something in the cockpit, he looked back outside and noticed he was about 100 ft. higher than the tow airplane. He added that he attempted to correct, "but the tow hook released on its own". The pilot turned to the left, the left wing impacted the ground, the glider came to rest in some brush.

The glider sustained substantial damage to the fuselage.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the glider that would have precluded normal operation.

The Federal Aviation Administration's Glider Flying Handbook, FAA-H-8083-13A, "Normal Assisted Takeoff" section, stated in part:

One of the most dangerous occurrences during aerotow is allowing the glider to fly high above and losing sight of the towplane. The tension on the towline caused by the glider pulls the towplane tail up, lowering its nose. If the glider continues to rise, pulling the towplane tail higher, the tow pilot may not be able to raise the nose. Ultimately, the tow pilot may run out of up elevator authority.

NTSB Probable Cause

The glider pilot’s failure to maintain proper pitch during an aerotow takeoff.

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