NTSB Identification: IAD97LA118.
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Accident occurred Saturday, September 06, 1997 in SUTTON, WV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/28/1999
Aircraft: REYNOLDS MARSKE-MONARCH 1997, registration: N5377
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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 reported that the glider was towed to 500 feet AGL, and released. He said that when he started his turn, the left wing dropped, and the glider entered a spin to the left. He applied opposite rudder, and the glider recovered after two turns. He said shortly thereafter he became disoriented, and does not remember anything else. A witness said that the glider entered another spin, about 100 feet AGL, and struck the ground at the approach end of runway 01. The pilot reported over 10 hours in gliders including 1 hour in make and model. He reported that there was no mechanical malfunction with the glider. According to the FAA, the glider was being flight tested, and had flown six times on the day of the accident.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed which resulted in an inadvertent stall/spin. A related factors was the pilot lack of familiarity with the airplane.

Full narrative available

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