NTSB Identification: DEN99LA028.
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Accident occurred Sunday, December 27, 1998 in CANON CITY, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/16/2001
Aircraft: Burkhart Grob G103 TWIN ASTIR, registration: N173SS
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor.

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

During initial climb from takeoff, the rear canopy of the glider opened. When the pilot reached to close the canopy, the glider ballooned above the tow plane. The pilot turned the glider to the left and lowered the nose to maintain airspeed. The glider then impacted the ground before he leveled out. According to the passenger and several witnesses, prior to takeoff, the glider pilot signaled the tow pilot that he was ready for takeoff. However, the departure was halted so that the glider pilot could be given a handheld radio in order for communications to be established between the glider and the tow plane. The glider pilot opened the canopy in order to receive the radio, then re-closed it. The first ground scars were observed approximately 1,100 feet prior to the end of the paved section of runway 29, and an additional 800 feet of dirt extends beyond the runway prior to the existence of any obstructions. At the request of an FAA inspector, a postaccident examination of the rear canopy latch was performed. According to the mechanic who performed the inspection, 'the rear canopy latch was found to be operational.'

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

The glider pilot's failure to follow proper preflight procedures, and his failure to control the aircraft when the latch opened during flight. A factor was his failure to properly latch the canopy, and to utilize all available runway during the forced landing.

Full narrative available

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