Saturday, May 27, 2017

Schleicher ASW 28-18E, N63KR: Fatal accident occurred May 26, 2017 near Ephrata Municipal Airport (KEPH), Grant County, Washington

Kyle & Kaye Roberson
They opened Wingwalker Cafe at the Richland airport in 2014. It has since closed.  


The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Spokane, Washington

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

http://registry.faa.gov/N63KR

NTSB Identification: WPR17FA107
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, May 26, 2017 in Ephrata, WA
Aircraft: SCHLEICHER ASW 28 18E, registration: N63KR
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 either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On May 26, 2017, about 1523 Pacific daylight time, a Schleicher ASW 28-18E motorglider, N63KR, impacted terrain about eight miles northwest of the Ephrata Municipal Airport (EPH), Ephrata, Washington. The pilot, the sole occupant, died and the motorglider sustained substantial damage throughout. The motorglider was registered to, and operated by, the pilot as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed. The local flight originated from EPH at about 1420. 

There were no witnesses to the event. A tracking system located inside of the motorglider documented the motorglider's track at nonspecific intervals. The track indicated that the motorglider flew about 12 miles to the west, and slightly north, of the airport over a span of about 44 minutes. The motorglider then made a sharp turn and meandered generally eastbound for about 18 minutes before the data indicated the motorglider was at ground elevation. The motorglider's highest documented altitude was 8,008 feet, which occurred about 20 minutes into the flight; after that, most of the remaining data points indicated the motorglider was in a descent.

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


A Richland man died when his glider crashed late Friday afternoon about eight miles west of Ephrata, according to the Grant County Sheriff’s Office.

Kyle Roberson, 64, was piloting a sailplane that crashed into a remote agricultural field near Baird Springs Road Northwest and Road J-Northwest.

He died immediately when the glider hit the ground. An autopsy is planned and the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.

The Ephrata area is popular with glider pilots because of atmospheric thermal layering during hot weather that helps keeps gliders aloft, the sheriff’s office said.

Roberson was a former co-owner of Shrub Steppe Smokehouse Brewery in Richland, which he helped open around the start of 2013.

He was a member of the Mid-Columbia Zymurgy Association — a group dedicated to using yeast to make anything from beer to cider — and a barbecue hobbyist.

He opened Wingwalker Cafe at the Richland airport in 2014. It has since closed.

He was a former Pacific Northwest National Laboratory researcher who did consulting work as a mechanical engineer.


EPHRATA, Wash. -  A 64-year-old Richland man was killed in a glider crash Friday afternoon about eight miles west of Ephrata.

The Grant County Sheriff's Office says Kyle Roberson was piloting an Alexander Schleicher model ASW28-18 sailplane which crashed into a remote farm field near Baird Springs Road Northwest and Road J-Northwest late in the afternoon. Roberson died on impact.

Roberson’s body is in the care of Grant County Coroner Craig Morrison, whose staff will conduct an autopsy. Roberson’s family has been notified. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.

The Ephrata area is popular among glider enthusiasts due to summertime atmospheric thermal layering which helps keep gliders aloft.

“I’m saddened by this news so early in the Memorial Day weekend, when people are enjoying their hobbies such as gliding,” said Sheriff Tom Jones. “I pray Mr. Roberson’s family and friends will find peace and I will continue to pray for them.”


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

Near Ephrata, WA - A 64-year-old Richland man was killed in a glider crash Friday afternoon May 26 about eight miles west of Ephrata.

According to a press release from Grant County Sheriff's Office, Kyle R. Roberson was piloting a glider when it crashed into a remote farm field near Baird Springs Road Northwest and Road J-Northwest late in the afternoon, killing Roberson died on impact.

Roberson’s body is in the care of Grant County Coroner Craig Morrison, whose staff will conduct an autopsy. Roberson’s family has been notified.

Robertson was piloting an Alexander Schleicher model ASW28-18 glider, when he crashed.

The Ephrata area is popular among glider enthusiasts due to summertime atmospheric thermal layering which helps keep gliders aloft.

“I’m saddened by this news so early in the Memorial Day weekend, when people are enjoying their hobbies such as gliding,” said Sheriff Tom Jones. “I pray Mr. Roberson’s family and friends will find peace and I will continue to pray for them.”

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.

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

A Richland man died when his glider crashed late Friday afternoon about eight miles west of Ephrata, according to the Grant County Sheriff’s Office.

Kyle R. Roberson, 64, was piloting a glider that crashed into a remote agricultural field near Baird Springs Road Northwest and Road J-Northwest.

He died immediately when the glider hit the ground, according to police reports.

An autopsy is planned and the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.

The Ephrata area is popular with glider pilots because of atmospheric thermal layering during hot weather that helps keeps gliders aloft, the sheriff’s office said.

Original article can be found here: http://www.tri-cityherald.com

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