NTSB Identification: SEA98TA156.
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Accident occurred Sunday, August 02, 1998 in EPHRATA, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/11/2000
Aircraft: Schweizer SGS 2-33, registration: N5720S
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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

The 14-year-old Civil Air Patrol (CAP) student pilot-in-command had completed two auto-tow dual flights on the morning of the accident and was on her initial solo flight (also an auto-tow) when, according to the FAA CAP liaison officer, 'she landed with excessive airspeed, and bounced back in the air after touchdown' and then 'panicked and let go of the controls.' The FAA CAP liaison officer reported that 'witness's [sic] could hear her screaming' and that 'the left wing of the glider dropped and the nose turned to the left and dropped' and then 'the left wing hit the ground, followed by the nose.' The pilot had a total of 2 hours of flight experience all within the previous ten days to the accident, which included about 22 auto-tow flights to about 800 feet, and two aero-tow flights to approximately 3,000 feet. The FAA CAP liaison officer reported that the-14-year old student pilot may not have been mature enough for this intensive training program.

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

The student pilot-in-command's failure to maintain control of the aircraft during the landing. Contributing factors were panic and inadequate initial training.

Full narrative available

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