Sunday, April 14, 2019

Schempp-Hirth Discus CS, registered to Sparrowhawk21 LLC and operated by the pilot as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal local flight, N104TH: Accident occurred July 10, 2018 in Goldfield, Esmeralda County, Nevada

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

Additional Participating Entity: 

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Las Vegas, Nevada

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Goldfield, NV
Accident Number: WPR18TA192
Date & Time: 07/10/2018, 1832 PDT
Registration: N104TH
Aircraft: Schempp Hirth DISCUS CS
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of lift
Injuries: 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On July 10, 2018, about 1832 Pacific daylight time, a Schempp Hirth DISCUS CS glider, N104TH, collided with terrain during a forced off airport landing, following a loss of lift, near Goldfield, Nevada. The commercial pilot sustained serious injuries. The glider sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and both wings. The glider was registered to Sparrowhawk21 LLC. and operated by the pilot as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal local flight. Visual meteorological conditions existed about the time of the accident, and no flight plan had been filed. The flight originated from Tonopah Airport (TPH), Tonopah, Nevada about 1330.

The pilot reported that during the long cross country flight, he had to deviate to an alternate airport, due to deteriorating weather. While attempting to reach his selected off airport landing site, he encountered continuous sinking air. He realized that he would not make it and made the choice to land on a nearby road. Just prior to the landing touchdown the right wing impacted a dirt berm that paralleled the road, which caused a ground loop. The glider cartwheeled and came to rest inverted.

The pilot reported no mechanical malfunctions with the airframe that would have precluded normal operation. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Commercial
Age: 51, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Single
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Glider
Restraint Used: 5-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 06/05/2018
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 07/07/2017
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 2135.5 hours (Total, all aircraft), 165.5 hours (Total, this make and model), 2055.6 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 80.2 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 41.4 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Schempp Hirth
Registration: N104TH
Model/Series: DISCUS CS No Series
Aircraft Category: Glider
Year of Manufacture: 2001
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: 287 CS
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tandem
Seats: 1
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 05/05/2018, Condition
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1157 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Airframe Total Time: 349.8 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer:
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series:
Registered Owner: Sparrowhawk21 LLC
Rated Power:
Operator: Sparrowhawk21 LLC
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KTPH, 5434 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 28 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 0131 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 28°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 6500 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 9000 ft agl
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 18 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 80°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.17 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 28°C / 9°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: Moderate - Thunderstorms - No Precipitation
Departure Point: Tonopah, NV (TPH)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Tonopah, NV (TPH)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1330 PDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious
Latitude, Longitude:  37.643889, -117.365000 (est)

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