Monday, June 06, 2022

Schweizer SGS 1-35C, N2817H: Fatal accident occurred June 05, 2022 at TSA Gliderport (TA11), Midlothian, Ellis County, Texas

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; Irving, Texas 

Location: Midlothian, Texas
Accident Number: CEN22FA224
Date and Time: June 5, 2022, 16:30 Local 
Registration: N2817H
Aircraft: Schweizer SGS135
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On June 5, 2022, about 1630 central daylight time, a Schweizer SGS135C glider, N2817H, was undamaged when the pilot was found deceased after a landing near Midlothian, Texas. The glider was operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight.

According to members of the Texas Soaring Association (TSA), the pilot was launched via a tow-plane around 1500 that day. About 1700, the glider was found by another pilot we he landed at the TSA Gliderport (TA11), Midlothian, Texas. The pilot was found strapped in his parachute and harness with the canopy closed about 150 yards from the intended landing area in an open pasture. None of the members recalled hearing any landing radio calls or distress calls from the pilot.

Examination of the glider found the flaps in the landing position, with the handle locked in the detent. Flight control continuity was established from the controls to the flight surfaces. The left aileron connection from the push rods to the aileron idler horn had the Clevis pin improperly secured and was missing the LSP-1 safety pin which was not located within the fuselage. Despite being partially unseat, the Clevis pin was seated enough for operation of the aileron. No other anomalies were detected with the airframes.

Members of the TSA assisted in the disassembly and transportation of the glider from the landing site to the pilot’s hangar. During disassembly, no obvious damage was noted to the glider.

The pilot was 84-years old and had been flying since at least 1973. Glider pilots are not required to hold a medical certificate of any class, and the pilot was flying under that provision. 

His last Federal Aviation Administration medical certificate was issued on January 5, 2012. On that application, the pilot reported having accrued 3,700 total hours. An autopsy and toxicology testing were ordered for the pilot.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Schweizer
Registration: N2817H
Model/Series: SGS135 C 
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: KJWY,749 ft msl 
Observation Time: 16:55 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 6 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: 33°C /22°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 4500 ft AGL 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 9 knots / 17 knots, 150°
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.7 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Midlothian, TX (TA11)
Destination: Midlothian, TX

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Aircraft Damage: Unknown
Passenger Injuries: 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 32.387741,-97.010635 

Ralph Farra

Glider crashed under unknown circumstances. 

Date: 05-JUN-22
Time: 23:20:00Z
Regis#: N2817H
Aircraft Make: SCHWEIZER
Aircraft Model: SGS 1-35C
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: FATAL
Total Fatal: 1
Flight Crew: 1 fatal
Pax: 0
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: APPROACH (APR)
Operation: 91
State: TEXAS

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.


  1. Certificate Issue Date: 2022-04-05
    change of registration.
    SE of MIDLOTHIAN, TX TA11 - Texas Soaring Association Gliderport - AirNav

  2. Some user perspectives on the type:

    1. This incident was not a crash. The pilot landed the aircraft short of the runway on the airport property. The aircraft sustained no damage and the pilot was not visibly injured. The pilot was found unresponsive by ground crew.


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