Friday, June 10, 2022

HpH Glasflügel 304MS Shark, N249SD: Fatal accident occurred June 09, 2022 near Rifle-Garfield County Airport (KRIL), Colorado

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. 

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Salt Lake City, Utah

Location: Rifle, Colorado  Accident Number: CEN22FA240
Date and Time: June 9, 2022, 17:35 Local
Registration: N249SD
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On June 9, 2022, at 1737 mountain daylight time, a HPH SPOL SRO Glasflugel 304MS powered glider, N249SD, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident at the Rifle Garfield County Airport (RIL), Garfield, Coloroado. The pilot was fatally injured. The glider was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations(CFR)Part 91 personal flight.

According to ADS-B flight tracking the flight originated about 1200 mdt from RIL. The glider proceeded in a generally westward direction for about 160 miles before turning back eastward. At 1712, the glider was about 45 miles north of RIL at 14,300 ft msl, where it turned to the south toward RIL. At 1735, the glider was about 2 miles west of RIL 7,600 ft msl, and began a left turn onto a downwind traffic pattern leg for runway 26. The published field elevation for RIL was 5337 ft msl. When the glider was on the downwind leg, about abeam the midfield location, it began descending rapidly. The descent rate during the last 47 seconds of the flight was calculated to be in excess of 1,600 ft/min.

The RIL airport was an uncontrolled airport and communications were conducted on a common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF). CTAF at RIL was recorded and copies of the communications were provided for the investigation. On the recording, the pilot of the accident glider reported “heavy sink going for left downwind two six”. There was no time index on the CTAF recording provided.

A video surveillance recording from RIL captured the accident. The camera was positioned about 1,000 ft east and 400 ft north of the runway 26 approach threshold. The camera was positioned to capture the approach end of runway 26 with the center of the view oriented about 150 degrees magnetic. In the video the glider can be seen descending in a left wing low attitude and striking the ground at time index 1737:49. During this portion of the flight, the glider appears to be travelling in a northeasterly direction consistent with the ADS-B track data. About the time the glider is descending, a dust cloud appears in the background travelling in the same direction as the glider, consistent with a strong tailwind. The surveillance video provided showed virga forming in the clouds above the airport about 12 minutes after the accident.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: HPH SPOL SRO 
Registration: N249SD
Model/Series: GLASFLUGEL 304 MS 
Aircraft Category: Glider
Amateur Built:
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: KRIL,5525 ft msl 
Observation Time: 17:53 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 33°C /-2°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 5 knots / 16 knots, 290°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.01 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Rifle, CO 
Destination: Rifle, CO

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: 39.526607,-107.72798

Powered glider crashed under unknown circumstances. 

Date: 09-JUN-22
Time: 23:35:00Z
Regis#: N249SD
Aircraft Make: HPH SPOL SRO
Aircraft Model: GLASFLUGEL 304 MS
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: FATAL
Total Fatal: 1
Flight Crew: 1 fatal
Pax: 0
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
Operation: 91

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email You can also call the NTSB Response Operations Center at 844-373-9922 or 202-314-6290.

RIFLE, Colorado - On Thursday of last week, a powered glider aircraft crashed at the Rifle Garfield County Airport, killing its only occupant. The victim, a 73-year-old man named Shmuel Dimentstein, was pronounced dead shortly after. The crash was witnessed by another pilot nearby. The cause of death has been determined as blunt force injuries, and the manner of death is being investigated as an accident.

GARFIELD COUNTY, Colorado  – On June 9, 2022 shortly after 5:00 PM the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office responded to a crash at the Rifle/Garfield County Airport. The crash involved a glider and resulted in the death of the male pilot.

Information on the pilot will be released by the Garfield County Coroner following his investigation and notification of next of kin.

Following standard procedure, the cause of the crash will be investigated by the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board). The scene was secured and all Sheriff Personnel cleared the area by 9:00 PM.

The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank CRFR (Colorado River Fire Rescue) for their prompt response as well as Administrative personnel from the Garfield County Airport who were at the scene following the incident.

No additional information will be released.


  1. RIP. sad ending, after 5 apparent demanding flight hours, came up short on returning base leg to rwy 26, KRIL.

    KRIL 092353Z AUTO 29005G16KT

  2. "The identity of the pilot who died following Thursday’s airplane glider crash at the Rifle Garfield County Airport was released Saturday by the Garfield County Coroner’s Office. Glenwood Springs resident Shmuel Dimentstein, 73, died of blunt forces following the crash, a news release states. The Garfield County Coroner’s Office was dispatched to the crash around 5:51 p.m. Thursday.
    Flights of Shmuel Dimentstein (US) 2022(Worldwide, Soaring Society of Boulder)