NTSB Identification: LAX98LA147.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, April 28, 1998 in MARICOPA, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/19/2001
Aircraft: Schweizer SGS-1-35, registration: N34187
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 towing the glider reported that after takeoff, the glider veered to the right. The tow plane yawed hard to the left and the towrope snapped while at an altitude of approximately 700 feet agl. Witnesses reported that as the glider pilot attempted to return to the airport to land, it impacted a ditch that ran between the two runways. Rescue workers reported that the pilot was incoherent and they suspected that he had suffered a stroke. One witness reported that the pilot had medical problems that prohibited him from flying more than 2 hours at a time. The pilot did not possess a medical certificate, nor is he required to. The pilot spent approximately 1 month in the hospital and has no memory of the accident. His wife was unable to find any aircraft or pilot logbooks. The pilot's family sold the glider and no further examination was possible.

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

The pilot's loss of control in flight for undetermined reasons.

Full narrative available

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