Thursday, March 1, 2018

LET L-23 Super Blanik, N304MG: Accident occurred July 30, 2017 near Miami Homestead General Aviation Airport (X51), Miami-Dade County, Florida

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:


Location: Homestead, FL
Accident Number: GAA17CA477
Date & Time: 07/30/2017, 1600 EDT
Registration: N304MG
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of lift
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 


The pilot of a non-powered glider reported that while on the downwind for landing, the glider was higher than normal due to lift that was encountered. He added that while on final approach, the glider encountered a gusting headwind, which reduced the ground speed. The glider was unable to maintain sufficient altitude, and touched down short of the intended runway.

The fuselage sustained substantial damage.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the glider that would have precluded normal operation.

The automated weather observation system located 9 miles east of the accident airport reported, about 2 minutes before the accident, that the wind was from 260° at 14 knots, gusting to 23 knots. 27U was the intended runway. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The glider's encounter with atmospheric conditions where the lift was not sufficient to maintain flight, which resulted in the pilot landing short of the intended runway.


Environmental issues
Wind - Ability to respond/compensate (Cause)

Factual Information

History of Flight

Approach-VFR pattern final
Other weather encounter
Loss of lift (Defining event)

Landing area undershoot

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 17, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s):

Glider; Helicopter

Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 02/06/2013
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 06/10/2017
Flight Time: (Estimated) 131 hours (Total, all aircraft), 20 hours (Total, this make and model), 27 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 58 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 33 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: LET
Registration: N304MG
Aircraft Category: Glider
Year of Manufacture: 1992
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 917929
Landing Gear Type: Tandem
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection:  Unknown
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection:
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer:
Engine Model/Series:
Registered Owner: N304MG LLC
Rated Power:
Operator: N304MG LLC
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KHST, 7 ft msl
Observation Time: 1958 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 9 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 98°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 4100 ft agl
Temperature/Dew Point: 32°C / 26°C
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility: 10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 14 knots/ 23 knots, 260°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 29.91 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Homestead, FL (X51)
Type of Flight Plan Filed:  None
Destination: Homestead, FL (X51)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1400 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Unknown
Airport Elevation: 7 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 27U
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 2500 ft / 150 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Straight-in 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude:  25.502222, -80.541389 (est)

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