Sunday, June 9, 2019

Hard Landing: Schweizer SGS 1-34, N134BC, accident occurred June 27, 2018 at Boulder Municipal Airport (KBDU), Colorado

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Denver, Colorado

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


Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms


Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf


http://registry.faa.gov/N134BC

Location: Boulder, CO

Accident Number: GAA18CA389
Date & Time: 06/27/2018, 1520 MDT
Registration: N134BC
Aircraft: Schweizer SGS 1 34
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Hard landing
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional

Analysis 

The solo student pilot reported that, during landing, about 10 ft above ground, the glider was "hit by a tail gust/downdraft," then it landed hard.

The glider sustained substantial damage to the fuselage.

The automated weather observation station located on the airport reported that, about 8 minutes before the accident, the wind was from 170° at 10 knots, gusting to 14 knots. The pilot landed the glider on runway 8G.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The student pilot's improper landing flare in gusting crosswind conditions, which resulted in a hard landing.

Findings

Aircraft
Landing flare - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Student pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Gusts - Effect on operation
Crosswind - Effect on operation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing
Other weather encounter
Hard landing (Defining event)
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Student Pilot Information

Certificate: Student
Age: 15, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Single
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: None
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 32.4 hours (Total, all aircraft), 6.5 hours (Total, this make and model)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Schweizer
Registration: N134BC
Model/Series: SGS 1 34 Undesignated
Aircraft Category: Glider
Year of Manufacture: 1973
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 85
Landing Gear Type: Unknown
Seats: 1
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 12/29/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 840 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 0
Airframe Total Time: 5015 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer:
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: 
Registered Owner:  Soaring Society Of Boulder Inc
Rated Power:
Operator: Soaring Society Of Boulder Inc
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KBDU, 5289 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 2112 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 131°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 10 knots / 14 knots
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 170°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.96 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 34°C / 1°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Boulder, CO (BDU)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Boulder, CO (BDU)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1505 MDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: BOULDER MUNI (BDU)
Runway Surface Type: Grass/turf
Airport Elevation: 5288 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 8G
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 4100 ft / 20 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full Stop

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude:  40.039167, -105.226389 (est)

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