NTSB Identification: CHI92LA143.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 47464.
Accident occurred Sunday, May 10, 1992 in IONIA, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/26/1993
Aircraft: Burkhart Grob G-103, registration: N140BG
Injuries: 2 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 GLIDER WAS IN THE INITIAL CLIMB PHASE FROM TAKEOFF AT AN ESTIMATED ALTITUDE OF 150-200' AGL WHEN THE CANOPY SUDDENLY UNLATCHED AND STRUCK THE RIGHT WING. THE CANOPY WAS STILL ATTACHED, AND THE PILOT ATTEMPTED TO CLOSE IT. THE PILOT REPORTED HE BECAME DISORIENTED IN RELATION TO THE TOW AIRPLANE WHILE ATTEMPTING TO CLOSE THE CANOPY, AND ELECTED TO PULL THE TOW RELEASE. ALTITUDE WAS INSUFFICIENT FOR A RETURN TO THE RUNWAY, AND AN OFF-AIRPORT SITE WAS SELECTED. THE GLIDER WAS SUBSTANTIALLY DAMAGED DURING THE LANDING IN A ROUGH FIELD. A POSTACCIDENT INSPECTION OF THE GLIDER DISCLOSED NO MECHANICAL DEFICIENCIES WITH THE CANOPY LATCHING MECHANISM.

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

THE PILOT-IN-COMMAND'S IMPROPER PREFLIGHT AND DECISION TO CLOSE THE GLIDER'S CANOPY AT LOW ALTITUDE.

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