NTSB Identification: NYC96LA140.
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Accident occurred Friday, July 05, 1996 in MARSTON MILLS, MA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/29/1997
Aircraft: Schweizer SGS 1-26E, registration: N603MX
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

Several witnesses observed the glider as it was being towed during takeoff. They reported that after becoming airborne, it pitched up, down, and up again, in excess of 45 degrees, then the tow rope broke. The glider then entered a right turn and rolled into a 1-1/2 turn spin to the right. Subsequenlty, the glider impacted in a grassy area next to parked airplanes on the airport. The pilot was taken to a local hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries the following day. No evidence of a preimpact mechanical failure or malfunction was found, and flight control continuity was confirmed.

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

failure of the pilot to maintain control of the glider while being towed during takeoff, which resulted in a pitch oscillation, failure of the tow cable, loss of airspeed, an inadvertent stall/spin, and an uncontrolled collision with the ground.

Full narrative available

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