Tuesday, October 08, 2019

DG-505 Elan Trainer, N600TT: Accident occurred October 06, 2019 in Marana, Pima County, Arizona

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Scottsdale, Arizona 

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


Location: Marana, AZ
Accident Number: WPR20LA004
Date & Time: 10/06/2019, 1300 MST
Registration: N600TT
Aircraft: Glaser Dirks DG500
Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On October 06, 2019, about 1300 mountain standard time, an experimental Glaser-Dirks DG-500 Trainer, N600TT, collided with mountainous terrain near Marana, Arizona. Tucson Soaring Club Inc., was operating the glider under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The commercial pilot sustained minor injuries and the pilot undergoing instruction (PUI) was not injured; the glider was substantially damaged to the empennage. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed. The flight originated at El Tiro Gliderport, Tucson, Arizona about 1230.

The commercial pilot stated that he planned to evaluate the PUI perform maneuvers that were part of the Sportsman Glider sequence. The PUI began the maneuvers three miles north of the El Tiro Gliderport at 7,000 feet above ground level (AGL). After completing the Reverse Half Cuban, Lay Down Humpty, Loop, 90 Degree Tum and ¼ clover, the next maneuver was planned to be the Sharks Tooth. At an altitude of approximately 5,000 feet AGL, with the glider configured in a pitch-up attitude of 30°, the PUI rolled the glider inverted. The nose dropped to approximately 20° above the horizon but the commercial pilot elected to continue the maneuver. The glider slowed and stalled in the inverted position.

The PUI did not make an aggressive recovery and the commercial pilot pulled the control stick aft to establish a 4g recovery. The glider's airspeed increased from around 90 kts to the never-exceed speed (VNE) almost instantaneously. The airspeed increased past 155 kts and the glider experienced a high frequency elevator flutter with the nose still below the horizon. During the recovery, the right spoiler deployed and the pilots felt the elevator was not controllable. They opted to make an emergency landing to the runway with minimal directional control. During landing the glider's descent was more than they had anticipated and it touched down on a bush damaging the empennage.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Glaser Dirks
Registration: N600TT
Model/Series: DG500 TRAINER
Aircraft Category: Glider
Amateur Built: No
Operator: Tucson Soaring Club Inc.
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KRYN, 2418 ft msl
Observation Time: 1245 MST
Distance from Accident Site: 20 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 32°C / 6°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 5 knots / , 270°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.08 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Tucson, AZ (AZ67)
Destination: Tucson, AZ (AZ67) 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire:None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 32.430000, -111.390000 (est)

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