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N503HC accident description

Nevada map... Nevada list
Crash location 39.000278°N, 119.750833°W
Nearest city Minden, NV
38.954074°N, 119.765733°W
3.3 miles away
Tail number N503HC
Accident date 26 May 2003
Aircraft type PZL-Bielsko SZD-50-3
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On May 26, 2003, about 1330 Pacific daylight time, a PZL Bielsko SZD-50-3 nonpowered glider, N503HC, collided with obstacles and terrain during the landing approach to an open road at the Minden-Tahoe Airport (MEV), Minden, Nevada. The glider was registered to a private individual and operated by High Country Soaring, Minden, under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. The certified flight instructor (CFI), and the commercial airplane pilot receiving instruction were not injured; the glider sustained substantial damage. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan had not been filed. The local instructional flight departed Minden about 1325.

According to the CFI, the glider, in tow, departed runway 30 with the intention of practicing takeoffs and landings. As they turned right downwind at 500 feet above ground level (agl), the student deployed the spoilers. The CFI released the glider from the tow plane and locked and closed the spoiler handle. She declared they would land on runway 21, but the student turned them away from the airport. The student was "frozen" on the controls and would not allow her to turn back to the airport. The student eventually released the controls, but the glider was too far away from the airport to make the runway. The CFI then executed a forced landing on an open road. On final approach, the left wing struck a 4-foot-tall sagebush, the glider turned, and impacted off the side of the road.

According to the student pilot, the glider was high and to the left of the tow plane, so he deployed the spoilers in an attempt to correct the situation. The CFI released the glider from tow while the glider was equal distance from runways 16 and 12. The CFI determined that they would not make either of the runways, and flew the approach to an access road on airport property. Prior to touchdown, the left wing struck a sagebush, resulting in the glider impacting on the shoulder of the road.

NTSB Probable Cause

The flight instructor's failure to adequately supervise the student, which resulted in the improper deployment of the spoilers by the student. A factor was the high vegetation on the landing surface.

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