Monday, May 07, 2018

Schweizer SGS 1-26E, registered to and operated by New England Soaring Association Inc, N17909: Accident occurred May 05, 2018 near Hartness State Airport (KVSF), Springfield, Windsor County, Vermont

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Portland, Maine

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Springfield, VT
Accident Number: GAA18CA263
Date & Time: 05/05/2018, 1430 EDT
Registration: N17909
Aircraft: SCHWEIZER SGS 1 26
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Miscellaneous/other
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

According to the glider pilot, he remained airborne for about 90 minutes before encountering downdrafts while pursuing a cumulus cloud system. He immediately attempted to return to the airport but had to select an off-airport landing site instead. During approach, the glider had "insufficient altitude" to clear trees on the west side of the field and collided with branches before impacting the ground.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and left-wing spar.

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

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial; Private
Age: 78, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Single
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Glider
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 01/26/2018
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 03/09/2018
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 4870 hours (Total, all aircraft), 40 hours (Total, this make and model), 4688 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: SCHWEIZER
Registration: N17909
Model/Series: SGS 1 26 E
Aircraft Category: Glider
Year of Manufacture: 1972
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 529
Landing Gear Type: Skid; Ski/wheel; Tailwheel
Seats: 1
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 05/03/2018, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 700 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 0
Airframe Total Time: 1442.1 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer:
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series:
Rated Power:
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KVSF, 578 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1854 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 305°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility: 10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: Light and Variable / 15 knots
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / None
Wind Direction: Variable
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 21°C / 2°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Springfield, VT (VSF)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Springfield, VT (VSF)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1300 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class G 

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Grass/turf
Airport Elevation: 568 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry; Vegetation
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: Forced Landing 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude:  43.343611, -72.517222 (est)

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