Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Loss of Lift: Schempp-Hirth Discus CS, N1122Q, accident occurred July 03, 2018 in Pomfret, Windsor County, Vermont

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Portland, Maine

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Pomfret, VT
Accident Number: GAA18CA392
Date & Time: 07/03/2018, 1630 EDT
Registration: N1122Q
Aircraft: Schempp Hirth DISCUS CS
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of lift
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Air Race/Show 


According to the glider pilot, during a glider competition, he passed a "weak frontal system," and lift could not be sustained. He selected a large field for landing, established a traffic pattern, and accomplished a full-stall landing. However, during the landing roll on down-sloping terrain about 40 knots, the glider collided with a ditch.

The glider sustained substantial damage to the tailboom.

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

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The glider pilot's selection of an unsuitable landing area, which resulted in a collision with a ditch during the landing roll.


Personnel issues
Decision making/judgment - Pilot (Cause)

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

Factual Information

History of Flight

Other weather encounter
Loss of lift (Defining event)

Landing-landing roll
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 63, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Single
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Glider
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 12/19/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 10/01/2017
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 3457 hours (Total, all aircraft), 347 hours (Total, this make and model), 3285 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 44 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 36 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 8 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Schempp Hirth
Registration: N1122Q
Model/Series: DISCUS CS No Series
Aircraft Category: Glider
Year of Manufacture: 2003
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: 307CS
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 1
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 05/15/2018, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1157 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Airframe Total Time: 576 Hours
Engine Manufacturer:
ELT: C91  installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series:
Registered Owner: Throttle Up Inc
Rated Power:
Operator: Throttle Up Inc
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KLEB, 570 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 10 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 2053 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 124°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 9 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: /
Wind Direction: 340°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: /
Altimeter Setting: 30.16 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 35°C / 17°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Springfield, VT (VSF)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Springfield, VT (VSF)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1300 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class E 

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:  43.704722, -72.515556 (est)

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