Tuesday, March 03, 2020

Loss of Control in Flight: LET L-23 Super Blanik, N296BA; accident occurred March 01, 2020 near Moontown Airport (3M5), Brownsboro, Madison County, Alabama

View of Glider as Found Facing Approximate Direction of Travel
Federal Aviation Administration

View of Glider as Found Facing Opposite direction of Travel
Federal Aviation Administration

Wreckage Diagram/Airport View
Federal Aviation Administration

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Birmingham, Alabama

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

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms


Location: Huntsville, AL
Accident Number: ERA20CA116
Date & Time: 03/01/2020, 1400 CST
Registration: N296BA
Aircraft: Let L 23 SUPER BLANIK
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 2 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Instructional

According to the glider pilot, the purpose of the flight was to release from the tow about 300 ft above ground level, return to the airport, and land on the departure runway in the opposite direction, which would simulate the response to a "rope-break" emergency during the initial climb. After departure from runway 27 and release from the tow, the pilot completed a 270° turn (to his right) on the north side of the runway and had a 90°, left base-to-final turn remaining to return to the runway. While still on the base leg, the glider encountered an 11-knot wind from the south that gusted to 18 knots, and the pilot surmised that he must have encountered "wind shear" as he "lost all elevator control" and impacted terrain.

Postaccident examination of the flight control system did not reveal any anomalies and the pilot reported that there were no preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures with the glider that would have precluded normal operation. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Flight Instructor; Commercial; Private
Age: 69, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Rear
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Glider
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): Glider
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 04/23/2019
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  1834 hours (Total, all aircraft), 295 hours (Total, this make and model) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Let
Registration: N296BA
Model/Series: L 23 SUPER BLANIK No Series
Aircraft Category:Glider
Year of Manufacture: 1994
Amateur Built:No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 948117
Landing Gear Type: Tandem
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 03/30/2019, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection: 90 Hours
Airframe Total Time: 1680 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer:
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series:
Registered Owner: Huntsville Soaring Club
Rated Power:
Operator: Huntsville Soaring Club
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KMDQ, 763 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 8 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1955 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 325°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 11 knots / 18 knots
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction: 190°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting: 30.12 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 19°C / 3°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Huntsville, AL (3M5)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Huntsville, AL (3M5)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time:  CST
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: Moontown (3M5)
Runway Surface Type: Grass/turf
Airport Elevation: 655 ft
Runway Surface Condition:Dry 
Runway Used: 09
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 2180 ft / 160 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Simulated Forced Landing 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries:2 Serious 
Latitude, Longitude: 34.747222, -86.460833 (est)

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama (WAFF) - A glider plane went down in a field near Moontown airport Sunday afternoon. The privately-owned public-use airport sits 16 miles east of Huntsville International Airport.

The person piloting the plane was injured and flown to a hospital in Chattanooga. We’re told that a person was a student learning to fly. An instructor onboard was transported to Huntsville Hospital. Witnesses tell WAFF the student pilot overshot the runway and crashed into a cotton field. The plane will remain on site until the NTSB arrives to investigate.

Original article can be found here ➤ https://www.waff.com

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