NTSB Identification: CHI95LA228A
Accident occurred Tuesday, July 18, 1995 in AMES, IA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/03/1996
Aircraft: REED RS15, registration: N964
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor.

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 GLIDER PILOT STATED THAT AFTER HE COMPLETED HIS PREFLIGHT IN PREPARATION FOR LAUNCH, HE SECURED HIMSELF IN THE GLIDER AS THE TOW ROPE WAS CONNECTED. HOWEVER, HE COULD NOT RECALL ANY OF THE EVENTS THAT FOLLOWED, CONCERNING THE TAKEOFF ROLL OR ACCIDENT. THE TOW PILOT REPORTED THAT AFTER THE GLIDER WAS HOOKED UP TO THE TOW PLANE, A SIGNAL WAS PROVIDED TO BEGIN THE TAKEOFF ROLL. WITNESSES STATED THAT AS THE TOW AIRPLANE BEGAN THE TAKEOFF ROLL, THE GLIDER WAS HAVING DIRECTIONAL CONTROL PROBLEMS. THE TOW AIRPLANE LIFTED OFF AND CLIMBED ABOUT 50 TO 60 FEET ABOVE THE GROUND. THE TOW PILOT SAID THAT AT ABOUT THAT TIME, HE NOTED EXCESSIVE DRAG AND THE TOW AIRPLANE'S TAIL WAS PULLED DOWN DESPITE HIS USE OF FULL FORWARD ELEVATOR. SUBSEQUENTLY, THE GLIDER CARTWHEELED AND FLIPPED OVER, THE TOW ROPE FAILED, AND THE TOW AIRPLANE STALLED AND IMPACTED THE GROUND. POSTACCIDENT EXAMINATION REVEALED THE GLIDER'S RIGHT RUDDERVATOR WAS LOOSE AND WAS NOT PROPERLY CONNECTED TO THE PUSH-PULL TUBE. THE GLIDER PILOT STATED THAT HE DID NOT RECALL, BUT HE PROBABLY DID NOT DO A POSITIVE CONTROL CHECK OF THE RUDDERVATORS BEFORE THE LAUNCH. A WITNESS SAID HE OBSERVED THE GLIDER PILOT CLIMB INTO THE GLIDER'S COCKPIT AND WORK THE CONTROL STICK TO VERIFY AILERON AND RUDDERVATOR CONTROL, BUT HE DID NOT DO A POSITIVE CONTROL CHECK DURING HIS PREFLIGHT.

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

The glider pilot's inadequate preflight of the glider by failing to properly secure a push-pull tube to the glider's right ruddervator; and failure of both the glider pilot and the tow pilot to release the tow rope, which led to a stall of the tow airplane.

Full narrative available

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