Sunday, July 07, 2019

Loss of Control on Ground: SZD-36A Cobra 15, N1075G, accident occurred May 27, 2018 in Hammond, Piatt County, Illinois

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Springfield, Illinois 

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Hammond, IL
Accident Number: GAA18CA305
Date & Time: 05/27/2018, 1405 CDT
Registration: N1075G 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal


According to the glider pilot, while skirting rain showers, he was unable to find lift and made an off-airport landing. The pilot made a straight-in approach to a field and noticed that power line poles lined the west side of the field. He made his approach just east of the poles so that he would have access to a road and could load the glider onto a transport trailer. The glider touched down on the dirt field, drifted toward the power line poles, and the left wing struck a guy wire that ran perpendicular to the poles.

The glider sustained substantial damage to the left wing and the left side of the fuselage near the wing root.

The pilot reported that the accident could have been prevented if he had not landed so close to the poles. Further, he should have chosen a field earlier when he had more altitude, circled the field, and landed near the center.

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 pilot's loss of directional control during an off-airport landing and his subsequent failure to maintain clearance from power pole guy wires.


Directional control - Not attained/maintained (Cause)

Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Wire - Effect on equipment (Cause)

Factual Information

History of Flight

Loss of lift

Approach-VFR pattern final
Off-field or emergency landing

Landing-landing roll
Loss of control on ground (Defining event)
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT) 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 71, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
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:
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 05/06/2018
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 293 hours (Total, all aircraft), 134 hours (Total, this make and model), 264 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 2 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 2 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Registration: N1075G
Model/Series: SZD 36 A COBRA 15 A
Aircraft Category: Glider
Year of Manufacture: 1974
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: W-691
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tailwheel
Seats: 1
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 11/04/2017, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 847 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Airframe Total Time: 1042 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer:
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series:
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power:
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: KDEC, 675 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 13 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1914 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 280°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR): 
Wind Speed/Gusts: 3 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: 290°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 29.88 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 32°C / 19°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Monticello, IL (2K0)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Hammond, IL
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1248 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class G 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 39.796944, -88.591667 (est)

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