NTSB Identification: MIA97LA046.
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Accident occurred Sunday, December 22, 1996 in MULBERRY, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/25/1997
Aircraft: Let BLANIK L-13, registration: N48052
Injuries: 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 did not verify the spoiler handle was locked in the retracted position prior to takeoff. The spoiler handle was not locked and the spoilers deployed shortly after takeoff. The pilot did not hear the tow pilot and ground personnel radio transmissions informing him his spoilers were extended. The pilot noticed they were flying slow and thought the tow aircraft was having problems. When the tow pilot moved his rudder to signal him about the spoilers being extended he released from the tow plane. The glider descended rapidly and he realized the spoilers were extended. He retracted the spoilers but did not have enough altitude to make it back to the airport. The glider collided with a tree and came to rest in the tree.

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

The pilot's failure to check that the spoiler handle was locked in the retracted position prior to takeoff.

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