Saturday, May 13, 2017

AS+ LTD AC 4, N358R: Fatal accident occurred May 13, 2017 at Blair Municipal Airport (KBTA), Washington County, Nebraska

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Lincoln, Nebraska

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Michael D. Boska: http://registry.faa.gov/N358R

NTSB Identification: CEN17LA181
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, May 13, 2017 in Blair, NE
Aircraft: AS+ LTD AC 4, registration: N358R
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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 May 13, 2017, about 1520 central daylight time, an experimental racing AS+ LTD AC 4 glider, N358R, impacted terrain after the canopy had opened during takeoff at Blair Municipal Airport, Blair, Nebraska. The glider sustained substantial damage. The private pilot received fatal injuries. The glider was registered to and operated by the pilot under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight that was not operating on a flight plan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The local flight was originating at the time of the accident.

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email eyewitnessreport@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov.

Dr. Michael Boska 



BLAIR, Neb. — A Saturday glider plane crash took the life of a Glenwood man and respected UNMC scientist.

Blair police say Dr. Michael Boska, 59, died after his personal sailplane crashed during take-off just after 3 p.m.

Members of the Omaha Soaring Club released a statement Monday that indicates the plane's canopy opened unexpectedly during the towed takeoff, causing Boska to somehow lose control.

"The glider subsequently went airborne followed by a rapid descent and crash while still attached by rope to the tow plane," the release said.

Glider planes, or sailplanes, do not have engines, and need assistance to take off. Once they are in the air, they rely on columns of rising air, or thermals, to maintain elevation.

Boska's wife, Margaret Boska, says her husband was somebody who played as hard as he worked. Boska had been employed at UNMC for 17 years as a radiology professor and vice chairman of radiology research, contributing to breakthroughs on Parkinson's disease.

Boska was a loving father to two children, grandfather, brother, and husband. But Margaret says nothing appealed to him more than being in the sky.

"Always wanted to fly, from the time he was a kid," Margaret said.

Margaret says her husband's passion for flying started with hang-gliders years ago, while he was a college student at the University of California, Berkeley.

"He loved the feeling of it, he just loved that freedom," Margaret said.

That love evolved into flying glider planes, which, like hang gliders, rely on Mother Nature rather than engines to soar.

"There's no sound of an engine," Margaret explained, "you just hear the air coming over the wings."

Boska was ready to enjoy that freedom Saturday when something went wrong.

"This is just a very unexpected event that occurred, and everybody's devastated," Robert Craig of the Omaha Soaring Club said.

Craig says Boska was a treasured member of several years, and a skilled pilot.

"Those are the times that I'll remember the most, the enjoyable flying times with him," Craig said.

Margaret says she'll remember his sense of adventure, wit and heart.

He always like to see the world from above, Margaret said, and that hasn't changed.

"He died doing what he absolutely loved the most, and I feel that he's just flying a little higher now," Margaret said.

Omaha Soaring members say this is the first time in 30 years that the club has seen an accident this serious.

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.

Omaha Soaring Club's full statement:

The members of the Omaha Soaring Club are deeply saddened at the tragic loss of a fellow member in a glider accident that occurred at the Blair Municipal Airport on the afternoon of Saturday, May 13th. Our prayers and support go out to his family. His loss is of great concern to each of us as fellow Club members and glider pilots.

As previously reported by witnesses to the accident, it occurred during a takeoff sequence when the glider’s canopy unexpectedly opened during the takeoff roll. The glider subsequently went airborne followed by a rapid descent and crash while still attached by rope to the tow plane. The resulting impact caused immediate fatal injuries to the pilot.

The Club owns two gliders and some members own their own gliders. The accident glider was one of those personally owned by the pilot. By FAA rules, he was current and qualified to fly this glider. The designated glider operations area on the field, maintained by the Airport Authority, was in excellent condition.

We want the community to know that the Omaha Soaring Club has operated for over 30 years without an accident of this magnitude. It has continually fostered and encouraged a culture of safety that has included recurring FAA safety seminars and consultations with local FAA Air Traffic Control operations to enhance safety in all respects possible. The Club has also worked closely with the City of Blair’s Airport Authority’s leadership to ensure the safest possible operations at the Blair Municipal Airport. This support is respected and valued by all Club members. In this situation, no conflict with airport operations contributed to this accident and future operations should remain unaffected.

The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will conduct an investigation to determine the cause of this accident. All members of the Omaha Soaring Club stand ready to support this effort in any manner requested.


Story and video:  http://www.ketv.com









BLAIR, Neb. — We have learned the name of the man killed after a glider crashed at the Blair Airport Saturday. Authorities said the victim is Michael Boska, 59, of Glenwood, Iowa. He was a member of an area glider club.

One witness said it appeared windy conditions may have contributed to the crash during take-off.

Authorities have not released any additional information. The cause of the crash is currently under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Original article can be found here:  http://www.ketv.com

BLAIR, Neb. — A Glenwood man who died in a glider accident Saturday has been identified by authorities as Michael Boska.

Boska, 59, was a member of the Omaha Soaring Club according to Bob Craig, club president.

In a statement, Craig said Boska crashed about 3:30 p.m. He was the only occupant inside the glider, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

“The members of the Omaha Soaring Club are deeply saddened at the tragic loss of a fellow member in a glider accident that occurred at the Blair Municipal Airport,” Craig said. “Our prayers and support go out to his family. His loss is of great concern to each of us as fellow Club members and glider pilots.”

Craig said witnesses saw the crash occur during a takeoff sequence when the glider’s canopy unexpectedly opened during a takeoff roll.

The glider went airborne, then descended rapidly and crashed while still attached by the rope of the tow plane, Craig said.

“In the process of the gentleman reaching for the canopy, he lost control of the plane and crashed,” according to accounts provided to Craig.

The glider was Boska’s personal craft, Craig said. Boska was currently qualified to fly a glider.

“The designated glider operations area on the field, maintained by the Airport Authority, was in excellent condition,” Craig elaborated.

It is the first accident of this magnitude in 30 years of history with the club, Craig said.

“In this situation, no conflict with airport operations contributed to this accident and future operations should remain unaffected,” he said.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.

Original article can be found here: http://www.nonpareilonline.com

One person is confirmed dead in a glider accident at the Blair Airport just before 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

Representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board arrived at the scene at approximately 6:30 p.m. The agencies will be investigating the cause of the crash and reporting their findings in an accident report.

The victim, a 59-year-old male, is from Glenwood, Iowa. The man's name has not yet been released to the public.

"As far as the mechanics of the crash, it was in the process of taking off at the time," Lt. Aaron Barrow of the Blair Police Department said. "It's still in the process of being investigated."

Both Blair police and the Washington County Sheriff's Office both responded to the call. Bob Craig, the Omaha Soaring Club's president, confirmed that the deceased was a member of the club.

"I wasn't there, but it was a takeoff accident," Craig said. "His canopy opened up, and in the process of reaching for the canopy to shut it, he lost control of the plane, essentially. He was on tow, just got off the ground, and lost control of the plane, which came back down and hit hard. That's what happened."

The victim was the sole occupant of the glider, which Barrow said is in numerous pieces near the accident location. Police vehicles parked in a row to block the view of the crash site. It is unclear whether the wind was a factor in the crash.

County Attorney Scott Vander Schaaf has ordered an autopsy to be performed on the deceased to determine the exact cause of death. It was reported that he was already dead at the police's initial arrival.

Barrow said there is not a clear timeframe of when the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board will report their findings.


Original article can be found here: http://www.enterprisepub.com

BLAIR, Neb. (WOWT)-- The Washington County Sheriff's Department has identified the man from Glenwood, Iowa who died after a small aircraft crashed near the Blair Airport.

That person is Michael Boska, His family has been notified of the crash.

The Blair Police Department is handling the investigation. They tell us only one person was on board at the time of the crash. They also said the plane was taking off when it crashed.

Officials tell WOWT 6 News the FAA and the NTSB are on location to help in the investigation.

Story and video:  http://www.wowt.com

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