Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Schempp-Hirth Standard Cirrus, N7880, registered to and operated by ARA and Associates LLC: Fatal occurred June 23, 2018 near Sampley's Airport (28AZ), Aguila, Maricopa County, Arizona

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Scottsdale, Arizona 

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


Location: Aguila, AZ
Accident Number: WPR18FA178
Date & Time: 06/23/2018, 1408 MST
Registration: N7880
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On June 23, 2018, about 1408 mountain standard time, a Schempp-Hirth glider, N7880, sustained substantial damage after impact with terrain while maneuvering near Sampley's Airport (28AZ), Aguila, Arizona. The glider pilot, the sole occupant, was fatally injured. The glider was registered to and operated by ARA and Associates, LLC, Phoenix, Arizona. The glider was operated under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a local area personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan had been filed. The flight originated from 28AZ about 1359.

According to witnesses located at the airport, the pilot arrived at the airport about 1100 local. Witnesses stated the pilot had flown one three-minute flight that morning, in the glider, prior to the accident flight.

The driver of the glider tow vehicle reported that the launch was normal, and no anomalies occurred. He observed the glider depart the upwind and turn right crosswind for the downwind. He noted that the glider was about 1,000 ft above the ground (agl) while on the downwind. He began to reel in the tow wench, about 3 minutes later, and observed the glider near the approach end of runway traveling west. He further reported that the glider made two right 360° turns that he estimated to be about 30° bank angle, while at 400 ft above the ground. The aircraft then abruptly pitched 60 degrees nose down and completed two spins before he lost sight of it. The glider was about 100 ft above the ground when he lost sight of it.

The glider impacted the driveway of a home. The homeowner notified the Aguila Fire Department about 1408. The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office was notified at 1418. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: SCHEMPP-HIRTH
Registration: N7880
Aircraft Category: Glider
Amateur Built: No
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KBXK, 1021 ft msl
Observation Time: 2115 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 40 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 40°C / 8°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 12 knots / 17 knots, 210°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.73 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Aguila, AZ (28AZ)
Destination: Aguila, AZ (28AZ) 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries:  1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude:  33.930833, -113.178056 (est)

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