Tuesday, June 08, 2021

Schweizer SGS 1-35, N2878H: Fatal accident occurred June 06, 2021 at Wurtsboro-Sullivan County Airport (N82), New York

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.
Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Albany, New York

Location: Wurtsboro, NY
Accident Number: ERA21FA239
Date & Time: June 6, 2021, 13:00 Local 
Registration: N2878H
Aircraft: Schweizer SGS 1-35 
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On June 6, 2021, about 1300 eastern daylight time, a Schweizer SGS 1-35 glider, N2878H, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Wurtsboro, New York. The pilot was fatally injured. The glider was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

According to the towplane pilot, the accident pilot owned the glider, and the accident flight was his first flight in the glider. During initial climb from runway 23, near the departure end, about 100 to 200 ft above ground level, the glider pilot released the tow rope and began a 45° bank right turn back toward the airport. About 90° through the turn, the nose dropped straight down. The glider started to pull up but was still about 60° nose down when it impacted a ramp area, slid across a taxiway and came to rest on a grass area between the taxiway and runway. The towplane pilot further stated that a different pilot flew the glider the previous day and reported that it flew well.

The glider came to rest upright, oriented south, about 100 feet east of where it had initially impacted the ground. The wings and empennage remained attached, while the fuselage partially separated in a downward direction, just aft of the wings. The cockpit area was crushed, and the control stick separated consistent with impact forces. The canopy frame remained attached to the fuselage, but the windscreen had shattered. Flight control continuity was established from the cockpit to the flaps, ailerons, elevator, and rudder. The tow release mechanism functioned normally when tested. The tow rope and its attachment hardware was intact.

A data file was successfully downloaded from an onboard personal electronic device and retained for examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Schweizer 
Registration: N2878H
Model/Series: SGS 1-35 
Aircraft Category: Glider
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC 
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KMGJ,365 ft msl 
Observation Time: 12:54 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 10 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: 31°C /16°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 9 knots / , 240°
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.03 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Wurtsboro, NY 
Destination: Wurtsboro, NY

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Latitude, Longitude: 41.597139,-74.458306 (est)

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email eyewitnessreport@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov.

A 64-year-old New Jersey man was killed Saturday in upstate New York when his a Schweizer SGS 1-35 glider crashed on an airport tarmac and skidded off the runway, authorities said.

Khanh H. Nguyen, of Tenafly, went down at Wurtsboro–Sullivan County Airport at around 2:25 p.m after disconnecting from the single-engine plane to which it was attached, according to New York State Police.

Troopers began life-saving measures before firefighters, medics and and EMS crew arrived and took over, officials said. Nguyen was brought to Westchester Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

The Federal Aviation Administration said Wednesday the crash remains under investigation.

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