NTSB Identification: IAD97LA004.
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Accident occurred Sunday, October 06, 1996 in KUTZTOWN, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/30/1998
Aircraft: Wsk Pzl Krosno KR-03A, registration: N288S
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 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 pilot and passenger of the glider were towed by a Cessna 182 from the right side of the 2,435 foot long grass runway. A winch cable was lying in the grass, parallel to the runway, extending from a glider winch truck. A witness saw the glider approximately 300 feet from the end of the runway with the winch cable hanging from the nose area of the glider. At an altitude of 40 to 50 feet above the ground, the glider pilot realized the glider had caught the winch cable, and released the tow line. The tow line and the winch cable dropped from the glider, and the glider pilot executed a turn to the left. The left wing of the glider came in contact with standing corn stalks, the glider rotated around the left wing tip and impacted the ground. The pilot reported that he discussed the presence of the cable with the airport manager, and the takeoff seemed normal except that it took a little longer to get airborne. The pilot did not report any mechanical malfunctions with the with glider.

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

the glider pilot's improper decision to takeoff despite the presence of a glider winch cable lying on the runway area, which led to the glider snagging the winch cable during the takeoff roll and a subsequent forced landing. A related factor was: the airport manager's improper decision to conduct aero-tow operations, while the glider winch cable was lying on the runway area.

Full narrative available

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