Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Sportavia-Putzer RF-5B Sperber, N66GL: Accident occurred May 22, 2018 in Mineral County, Montana

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Helena

Glider crashed on highway.

Date: 22-MAY-18
Time: 14:48:00Z
Regis#: N66GL
Aircraft Model: RF5B SPERBER
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: MINOR
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: UNKNOWN
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91

SPOKANE - A  motorglider force landed on Interstate 90 at Lookout Pass on Tuesday afternoon near the Idaho/Montana state line, officials confirmed.

A witness said he watched an experimental motorglider land on the highway around 2 p.m. on Tuesday.

Tim Halbert said he was the one of the first people on the scene and waited with the pilot for emergency responders. He said the pilot was experiencing some back pain and had a few bumps and bruises but walked away from the crash. 

"A sheriff's deputy that was there told him to go buy a lottery ticket," Halbert said.

Halbert said the pilot told him he had caught a downdraft and his engine quit. 

Halbert said the pilot told him he couldn't get the engine going again and glided for a long while looking for a place to put the motorglider down.

"I knew he was in trouble because he was so low," Halbert recalled. "He just kept getting lower and lower and sure enough, he just crashed."

Mineral County Sheriff’s Office confirmed they were responding to the incident, but did not have any further detail.

Montana Department of Transit sent out a notification the eastbound lanes at Lookout Pass on the Montana side are blocked but traffic is able to get through the median. After speaking with a witness, it appears the road closures are as a result of the plane crash.

KREM 2 is still waiting to hear from officials on the pilot's injuries, but a Halbert said he appeared to be OK.

Story and video ➤

MISSOULA, Mont. — Authorities tell us a man flying an experimental craft that crashed Tuesday afternoon on Lookout Pass walked away from the wreck.

The crash happened between 2 and 3 p.m. Tuesday half a mile east of the Montana-Idaho state line.

Federal Aviation records show the craft is described as a motorglider and is experimental. The documents show a Redmond, Washington, man applied for the craft’s registration in March.

Officials say the pilot was headed west and hit a downdraft and crash-landed on Interstate 90.

There were no injuries in the crash. The pilot walked away from the crash but was taken to Superior for medical attention. No word on how he is doing.

Erin Brown, who helps run Big Sky Towing, said there was a lot of debris when they came to pick up the airplane.

"There was debris everywhere, and we needed to bring -- instead of just a rollback -- our Landoll, because it was a 53-foot wingspan," Brown said.

Big Sky towing cleaned up the accident in just under an hour and took the plane to its shop in De Borgia.

The FAA is taking over the investigation, and will be examining the aircraft Wednesday.

Original article can be found here ➤

1 comment:

LtCol Camilleri said...

With several hindreds of hours in gliders, I’ve always been critical of moto gliders in that, the pilot may be tempted to proceed into adverse gliding conditions with the false security of an engine. Without the motor, you execute a turn away from downdrafts. Without a motor, altitude remains a critical priority.
This is a classic example of a stall in the landing sequence. As to why he chose to land into traffic is unsettling. He walked away, the most important thing.
I stay current in gliders to create that muscle memory needed if I ever suffer a failure of engines in my 310. Good advice I adhere to from my early days of flying in the 70s.