Sunday, February 21, 2021

Aerotechnik L-13 SEH Vivat, N334BA: Accident occurred August 16, 2020 at William "Tiny" Zehnder Field Airport (66G), Frankenmuth, Saginaw County, Michigan

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Grand Rapids, Michigan

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Frankenmuth, MI
Accident Number:CEN20CA337
Date & Time: 08/16/2020, 1454 EDT
Registration: N334BA
Aircraft: Evektor Aerotechnik L13
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Miscellaneous/other
Injuries: 2 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal


The pilot reported that following a landing and back-taxi in a motor glider, he failed to stow the speed brake prior to attempting a subsequent takeoff. During the takeoff attempt, the glider would not climb out of ground effect. The motor glider departed the end of the runway and impacted terrain which resulted in substantial damage to the fuselage.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to stow the speed brake prior to attempting takeoff.


Personnel issues Forgotten action/omission - Pilot
Personnel issues Use of equip/system - Pilot
Aircraft Brake - Incorrect use/operation

Factual Information

History of Flight

Prior to flight Miscellaneous/other (Defining event)
Takeoff Runway excursion
Takeoff Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 55, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied:
Other Aircraft Rating(s): Glider
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
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:
Flight Time:

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Evektor Aerotechnik
Registration: N334BA
Model/Series: L13 SEH
Aircraft Category: Glider
Year of Manufacture: 1994
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: 940517
Landing Gear Type:
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection:
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection:
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer:
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:
Distance from Accident Site:
Observation Time:
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts:
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:
Wind Direction:
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:
Altimeter Setting:
Temperature/Dew Point:
Precipitation and Obscuration:
Departure Point: Frankenmuth, MI (66G)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Frankenmuth, MI (66G)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: EDT
Type of Airspace:

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Grass/turf
Airport Elevation: 639 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Unknown
Runway Used: 09
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 2500 ft / 100 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None

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: 43.314167, -83.711389 (est)


  1. Why is there always a fence or a big ditch on the side or ends of every runway ?

    Seems to be asking for disaster

  2. Yep. Nothing a drainage culvert and a little dirt couldn't fix.

  3. Yeah my ankles and shin bones hurt just looking at that cockpit impact damage. That had to have been their broken bones. As far as ditch protection, this field owner could have installed a simple metal sectional drainage grate over it along the flight path of the runway. My grandfather's farm had exactly that so his tractor could drive across ditches surrounding it on two sides: