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N790G accident description

Nevada map... Nevada list
Crash location 39.000278°N, 119.751111°W
Nearest city Minden, NV
38.954074°N, 119.765733°W
3.3 miles away
Tail number N790G
Accident date 12 Sep 2006
Aircraft type Burkhart Grob G-103A Twin II Acro
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On September 12, 2006, about 1320 Pacific daylight time, a Burkhart Grob G-103A Twin II Acro, N790G, collided with objects during the return for landing at Minden-Tahoe Airport (MEV), Minden, Nevada. Soar Minden, Inc., was operating the glider under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a local area instructional flight. The certified flight instructor (CFI) pilot was killed, and the student pilot sustained serious injuries; the glider sustained substantial damage. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.

The tow pilot reported that at 50 feet above ground level (agl) he observed the glider's spoilers in the up position (deployed), and signaled (wag the rudder) to the pilot to check his spoilers. The glider then moved to the left, causing a strain on the tow rope. The tow pilot indicated that the glider pilot then terminated the tow about 120 feet agl.

According to the operator, the glider had a tandem seating arrangement; the student pilot was seated in the front, and the CFI was seated in the rear seat. After takeoff, the tow pilot signaled the pilots' that the spoilers were deployed. The glider pilot released and terminated the tow and made an immediate turn back toward runway 12. During the maneuver, one of the gliders' wings struck a telephone pole, which caused it to cartwheel before coming to rest short of the runway.

The operator further reported that as a result of this accident they changed their tow pilot policy. The new policy recommends that the tow pilots communicate a "spoilers open" configuration first by radio, and then second with a standard signal "ONLY" after the tow plane has managed to gain at least 250 feet agl, and/or turned the glider around so it is facing toward the runway if possible.

NTSB Probable Cause

The inadequate pre-takeoff checks by the flightcrew that failed to detect that the spoilers were deployed during the takeoff and initial climb. Also causal was the inadequate supervision of the flight by the flight instructor.

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