NTSB Identification: BFO95LA046.
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Accident occurred Saturday, April 15, 1995 in NORTH ADAMS, MA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/19/1995
Aircraft: SCHWEIZER SC2-33A, registration: N5725S
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

THE CFI REPORTED THAT THE GLIDER ENCOUNTERED A WIND GUST WHILE UNDER TOW SHORTLY AFTER TAKEOFF, AND THE TOW ROPE SEPARATED. THE CFI REPORTED THAT HE TURNED THE GLIDER AROUND TO LAND ON THE GRASS ADJACENT TO THE RUNWAY. DURING THE FORCED LANDING THE CFI INTENTIONALLY GROUND LOOPED THE AIRPLANE TO AVOID HITTING THE BLAST FENCE AT THE END OF THE RUNWAY. POSTACCIDENT EXAMINATION OF THE TOW ROPE REVEALED THAT THE 220 FOOT LONG, 5/16TH INCH, YEAR OLD, YELLOW PROPYLENE ROPE BROKE ABOUT 37 FEET FROM THE TOW AIRPLANE. THE CFI STATED THAT THE ACCIDENT COULD HAVE BEEN PREVENTED IF HE HAD USED A DIFFERENT TOW ROPE SYSTEM AND THAT THERE WAS NO INSPECTION PROGRAM FOR TOW ROPES.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

the failure of the tow rope during the initial climb. Related factors are the gusty wind conditions, the low altitude at which the failure occurred, the tailwind during the emergency landing roll, and the CFI's intentional ground loop due to the obstacle (fence) in the glider's path.

Full narrative available

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