Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Collision During Landing: LET L-13 Blanik, N213TA; accident occurred October 26, 2019 at Enumclaw Airport (WA77), King County, Washington

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Seattle

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Puget Sound Soaring Association Inc

Location: Enumclaw, Washington
Accident Number: GAA20CA058
Date & Time: October 26, 2019, 17:17 Local
Registration: N213TA
Aircraft: Let L13 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Collision during takeoff/land 
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


The pilot reported that, after soaring atop ridgelines in a glider, he initiated an approach. During final, the pilot put the glider in a slip to lose altitude and intercept an "appropriate glideslope." However, the right wing impacted treetops and then came to rest inverted. The glider sustained substantial damage to the right wing and fuselage. The pilot reported that there were no preaccident 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 failure to maintain a proper glidepath, which resulted in a collision with trees. 


Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot
Aircraft Descent/approach/glide path - Not attained/maintained
Environmental issues Tree(s) - Effect on operation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing Collision during takeoff/land (Defining event)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 57, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Rear
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Glider 
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): None 
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None 
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: July 6, 2018
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: September 14, 2018
Flight Time: (Estimated) 38 hours (Total, all aircraft), 19 hours (Total, this make and model), 16 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 70,Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Glider
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: August 12, 2019
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: August 20, 2017
Flight Time: (Estimated) 692 hours (Total, all aircraft), 51 hours (Total, this make and model), 3 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 3 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Let 
Registration: N213TA
Model/Series: L13 AC 
Aircraft Category: Glider
Year of Manufacture: 2000
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Aerobatic 
Serial Number: 008606
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle 
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: December 3, 2018 Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1050 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Airframe Total Time: 2141.35 Hrs at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer:
ELT: Not installed 
Engine Model/Series:
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power:
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC) 
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KZSE,325 ft msl 
Distance from Accident Site: 11 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 23:55 Local 
Direction from Accident Site: 283°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:  /
Wind Direction: 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:  /
Altimeter Setting: 30.37 inches Hg 
Temperature/Dew Point: 12°C / -3°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Enumclaw, WA (WN76)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Enumclaw, WA (WN76)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 16:35 Local
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Dirt
Airport Elevation: 1100 ft msl 
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 10 
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 2100 ft / 60 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Full stop; Traffic pattern

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 None 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None 
Latitude, Longitude: 47.24361,-121.924446(est)

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