Sunday, January 12, 2020

Cabin Safety Event: Schempp-Hirth Ventus 2A, N57LK; accident occurred July 26, 2019 near Wurtsboro-Sullivan County Airport (N82), Wurtsboro, New York

View of damage to empennage 
 Federal Aviation Administration 

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Albany, New York

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Wurtsboro, NY
Accident Number: GAA19CA469
Date & Time: 07/26/2019, 1400 EDT
Registration: N57LK
Aircraft: Schempp Hirth VENTUS 2A
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Cabin safety event
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

The glider pilot reported that, while being towed the glider began to climb and the canopy opened. The pilot released the glider from the tow airplane, and he reached up and closed the canopy. He recalled that he decreased the glider's airspeed, and he made a 180° right turn to final. On final, the glider was high, and he deployed the airbrakes, but the canopy opened again. The pilot closed the canopy and held it shut with his left hand, while trying to control the glider with his right hand, but the glider's altitude decreased "very quickly." The glider's wingtip struck a shipping container that was just short of the runway.

The glider sustained substantial damage to the left wing and the empennage.

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

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 62, Male
Airplane Rating(s): None
Seat Occupied: Single
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Glider
Restraint Used:
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: 08/13/2017
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 174 hours (Total, all aircraft), 150 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Schempp Hirth
Registration: N57LK
Model/Series: VENTUS 2A No Series
Aircraft Category: Glider
Year of Manufacture: 2002
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: 137
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tailwheel
Seats: 1
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 11/04/2018, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 695 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 0
Airframe Total Time: 876.8 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer:
ELT: Installed, not activated
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: KMGJ, 365 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 10 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1754 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 121°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: Calm /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction:
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 30.26 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 28°C / 15°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Wurtsboro, NY (N82)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Wurtsboro, NY (N82)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1400 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Wurtsboro-Sullivan County (N82)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 548 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 05
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 3591 ft / 60 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Precautionary Landing; Straight-in

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: 41.597222, -74.458333 (est)

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