Friday, June 22, 2018

Schempp-Hirth Arcus M, N16DN: Accident occurred June 21, 2018 in Richfield, Sevier County, Utah

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Salt Lake City, Utah

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Richfield, UT
Accident Number: WPR18LA177
Date & Time: 06/21/2018, 1527 MDT
Registration: N16DN
Injuries: 2 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On June 21, 2018, about 1527 mountain daylight time, a Schempp-Hirth motorized glider, N16DN, was destroyed following an inflight-break up near Richfield, Utah. The commercial pilot and passenger sustained minor injuries. The glider was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local flight, which originated from Nephi, Utah, about 1300.

The pilot reported that he was participating in an air sailing competition and that he planned to maneuver the glider from the departure airport toward Mount Monroe, with subsequent turns to various headings before returning to Nephi. The pilot reported that the weather was good, was not turbulent and was a "very good soaring day."

The pilot stated that as the flight progressed, southeast of Richfield and as he approached 17,000 feet mean sea level (msl), one of the rudder pedals "slammed back" and threw his foot off the pedal, accompanied by a "thud" sound. He could not recall which direction the rudder pedals moved and added that when this occurred, there was no change in the glider's yaw, pitch, or bank angle and that he was unable to move the rudder pedals. Shortly thereafter, the glider's bank angle and speed began to increase, and the pilot thought they had possibly entered a spin, or spiral. He applied corrective actions, however, he was unable to recover, and told the passenger to bail out. The pilot stated that as he jettisoned the canopy, "the wing broke" and his passenger and himself bailed out.

The Sevier County Sheriff reported that the wreckage debris field was about a mile in length and located within mountainous terrain about 7 miles southeast of Richfield. The wreckage was recovered to a secure location for further examination. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Registration: N16DN
Aircraft Category: Glider
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KMLF, 5033 ft msl
Observation Time: 2126 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 52 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 37°C / -10°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 24 knots / 30 knots, 200°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.98 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Nephi, UT (U14)
Destination: Nephi, UT (U14)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Minor
Latitude, Longitude:  38.697222, -111.969722

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