Plane crash map Locate crash sites, wreckage and more

N8514L accident description

Vermont map... Vermont list
Crash location 44.109722°N, 72.823611°W
Nearest city Warren, VT
44.118116°N, 72.857337°W
1.8 miles away
Tail number N8514L
Accident date 20 Oct 2014
Aircraft type Piper PA-25-235
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On October 20, 2014, about 1220 eastern daylight time, a Nimbus glider, C-FTSI, and a Piper PA-25-235, N8514L, operated by Sugarbush Soaring Association, Inc, were substantially damaged when they collided on the runway following an aborted glider-tow flight at the Warren-Sugarbush Airport (0B7), Warren, Vermont. The commercial pilot in the airplane and the glider pilot in the glider were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for either airplane as they departed on the glider-tow flight of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

In a written statement, the pilot of the tow plane said that during the takeoff roll, with the glider in tow, he noticed fuel spraying on the windscreen. He estimated the airplane had used about 40 percent of the runway and was still on the ground, and that enough runway remained for both aircraft to abort the takeoff. When he aborted the tow, he announced his intention over the radio, and turned the airplane to the right in order to clear the runway for the glider behind.

The pilot of the glider was interviewed briefly by telephone by both the FAA and NTSB, and provided a similar accounting of events. He said that when the takeoff was aborted, he turned to the right, but was unable to clear the towplane in front of him, as it also turned to the right and into the glider's path.

The glider overtook the towplane, and its left wing passed through the propeller arc while the tail section collided with the airplane's right wing, and separated from the glider.

The towplane pilot held a commercial pilot certificate with ratings for glider, airplane single-engine land and sea, multiengine land, and instrument airplane. His most recent FAA third class medical certificate was issued April 21, 2014. He reported 5,705 total hours of flight experience, of which 600 hours were in the accident airplane make and model.

The glider pilot held Canadian glider-pilot and medical certificates. He estimated that he had 1,000 total hours of flight experience, all of which was in gliders, and 482 hours of which were in the accident glider make and model.

The 1251 weather observation at Montpellier, Vermont (MPV), 13 miles east of 0B7 included an overcast layer at 8,500 feet, 10 miles visibility, and variable winds at 4 knots.

The glider was recovered and taken to Canada by its owner. Examination of photographs and written descriptions of the damage by the two pilots and a certificated airframe and powerplant mechanic revealed the tail section was separated from the glider, and "propeller slash marks" were visible in the left wing.

The right wing tip was of the towplane was visibly damaged, and the mechanic reported visible damage to the right wing spar.

Both pilots reported that there were no mechanical anomalies with either airplane that would have precluded normal operation. They also stated that they had not discussed aborted takeoff procedures prior to the flight. The tow plane pilot reported that, in the case of an abort, the tow plane always goes right and the glider goes straight ahead. The glider pilot reported that, at his home airport, the glider always goes right.

The towplane pilot reported that the airplane had been serviced with fuel prior to takeoff, and that fuel spilled during the servicing was what found its way onto his windscreen during the takeoff. He reported the airplane did not have a fuel leak before or after the accident.

NTSB Probable Cause

The glider pilot’s failure to avoid the tow plane after the aborted takeoff due to both pilots’ failure to review the aborted takeoff procedure before the flight, which led to both pilots turning right after the aborted takeoff.

© 2009-2020 Lee C. Baker / Crosswind Software, LLC. For informational purposes only.