NTSB Identification: ERA15LA367
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, September 19, 2015 in Saratoga Springs, NY
Aircraft: SCHLEICHER ASW 19B, registration: N27XX
Injuries: 1 Serious.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
On September 19, 2015, about 1410 eastern daylight time, a Schleicher ASW 19B glider, N27XX, was destroyed when it collided with terrain while attempting to land at the Saratoga County Airport (5B2), Saratoga, New York. The private pilot was seriously injured. The glider was registered to and operated by the pilot as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions were reported and no flight plan was filed for the local flight. The flight originated at 5B2 at an unknown time.
A designated pilot examiner for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was at the airport and witnessed the accident. He stated that he first observed the glider when it was on final approach for runway 32. The glider was "high and fast," and the landing gear and spoilers were retracted. He said the glider flew about halfway down the runway, climbed, and made a steep right turn and attempted to land on the runway in the opposite direction. The witness never saw the spoilers extend, but the landing gear did extend and retract at least once during the turn. The glider made a second low pass (below 100 ft) over the runway at an "excessive" speed, but did not land. The witness said the glider entered another climb and made a very steep left turn and nearly missed a building. The glider descended while in the turn and the left wing struck the ground followed by the nose.
Initial examination of the wreckage by an FAA inspector revealed that glider cartwheeled and came to rest on the right side of the final approach path of runway 32, which resulted in extensive impact damage to the glider's wings and fuselage. The landing gear and spoilers were retracted.
FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Albany FSDO-01
MILTON - A pilot came up short of the runway and slammed into the ground Saturday afternoon at the Saratoga County Airport.
He lost a foot in the crash, but is expected to survive.
The gliders don't have an engine. However, the ground is just as hard if you if you don't hit the runway.
A crumpled glider sits in the tall grass at the Saratoga County Airport. The engine-less aircraft cartwheeled after a bad landing just short of the runway around 2 p.m. on Saturday.
The pilot, Ryszard Szymanowski, 66, of East Greenbush was airlifted to Albany Medical Center with a smashed up face and a severed foot. He's expected to survive.
Sheriff’s deputies say Szymanowski was a well-known member of a glider club at the airport. It's a popular hobby here, more than a dozen of the aircraft sit outside a hangar.
Gliders, are towed by planes off the runway and into the sky. Then at a certain altitude, the cable is cut between the two and the pilot of the glider glides to the ground.
A lot of people come to the airport just to watch the engine-less aircraft.
Deputies say Szymanowski was coming in too fast. He tried landing twice, and on the third try, came up short.
The glider will sit in the grass until the National Traffic Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration can investigate.
The airport is uncontrolled airspace. That means pilots determine themselves if they can land or not. That means there were very few interruptions – if any – because of this crash.
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