Sunday, June 09, 2019

Loss of Lift: Jonker Sailplanes JS1-C, N963CG, accident occurred June 24, 2018 near Panguitch Municipal Airport (U55), Garfield County, Utah

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

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Panguitch, UT
Accident Number: GAA18CA377
Date & Time: 06/24/2018, 1532 MDT
Registration: N963CG
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of lift
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Air Race/Show


The powered-glider pilot reported that, during the return flight to the airport after an informal glider competition, about 10,000 to 11,000 ft over mountainous terrain, he was unable to find lift, the glider descended to 9,000 ft, and he started the sustainer engine. He added that, after the glider climbed back to the initial altitude, he shut the sustainer engine off, stowed it, and continued to the destination airport.

He reported that, about 4 miles from the airport, the glider began to sink about 1,000 ft per minute. He attempted to restart the engine but was unsuccessful in the limited time available. He chose a field for an off-airport landing, the glider touched down, but the ground was slightly uneven, which resulted in the right wing dragging. The glider veered 20° to the right before coming to rest.

The glider sustained substantial damage to the horizontal stabilizer and elevator.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the glider that would have precluded normal operation.

An automated weather observation station at an elevation of 7,950 ft, located about 14 miles east-southeast of the accident location, reported wind from 270° at 10 knots, gusting to 15 knots; temperature 79°F; and dew point 9F. The calculated density altitude was 10,300 ft.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's inability to maintain altitude and his delayed decision to deploy the powered-glider's engine, which necessitated an off-airport landing.


Altitude - Attain/maintain not possible (Cause)

Environmental issues
Thermal lifting - Effect on operation (Cause)
Sloped/uneven terrain - Effect on operation (Cause)

Factual Information

History of Flight

Loss of lift (Defining event)
Attempted remediation/recovery

Off-field or emergency landing

Dragged wing/rotor/float/other
Loss of control on ground

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 55, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Single
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Glider
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: None
Last FAA Medical Exam: 03/23/1994
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 03/17/2017
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 1276 hours (Total, all aircraft), 387 hours (Total, this make and model), 1242 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 54 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 30 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Registration: N963CG
Model/Series: JS1-C NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Glider
Year of Manufacture: 2014
Amateur Built:No 
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: 1C-074
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tailwheel
Seats: 1
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 03/04/2018, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1323 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Turbo Jet
Airframe Total Time: 388.6 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: M&D Flugzeugbav
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: TJ-42
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 78 hp
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: KBCE, 7589 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 14 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 2053 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 126°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR): 
Wind Speed/Gusts: 10 knots / 15 knots
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 270°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.22 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 26°C / -13°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Parowan, UT (1L9)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Parowan, UT (1L9)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1240 MDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Dirt; Grass/turf
Airport Elevation: 6762 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry; Rough; Vegetation
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: Forced Landing; Full Stop; Valley/Terrain Following

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: 37.845278, -112.392222 (est)

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