NTSB Identification: FTW91FA131B.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 44744.
Accident occurred Wednesday, July 31, 1991 in MEDINA, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/09/1993
Aircraft: PZL-Mielec 55-1, registration: OH825
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Minor.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

THE GLIDERS COLLIDED AT APPROXIMATELY 6,000 FEET MSL WHILE CLIMBING IN A THERMAL AREA. IN THIS PARTICULAR AREA, APPROXIMATELY 20 GLIDERS WERE MANEUVERING ATTEMPTING TO ATTAIN OPTIMUM LIFT. THIS RESULTED IN OVERLAPPING FLIGHT PATHS. THE PILOT OF JAPANESE REGISTRY JA2413 OBSERVED FINNISH REGISTRY OH825 AND TWO OTHER GLIDERS APPROACHING FROM HIS LEFT AND BELOW HIS ALTITUDE. HE LOST SIGHT OF THE GLIDERS AND SHORTLY THEREAFTER OH825 STRUCK HIS AFT FUSELAGE ON THE LEFT SIDE, RESULTING IN THE SEPARATION OF HIS EMPENNAGE. PAINT TRANSFERS FROM THE RIGHT SIDE CANOPY TRACK AREA OF OH825 WERE FOUND ON THE LEFT SIDE OF JA2413 AT THE 7 O'CLOCK POSITION WHEN VIEWING JA2413 ALONG ITS LONGITUDINAL AXIS FROM THE REAR. ADDITIONAL PAINT TRANSFERS WERE LOCATED AT THE 8 O'CLOCK, 9 O'CLOCK AND 10 O'CLOCK POSITIONS. OH825 CONTINUED GLIDING, BUT IN AN ERRATIC MANNER, EVENTUALLY COLLIDING WITH THE TERRAIN. THE COCKPIT AREA OF OH825 SUSTAINED IN-FLIGHT COLLISION DAMAGE. THE PILOT OF JA2413 PARACHUTED TO SAFETY.

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

THE FAILURE OF THE PILOT IN COMMAND TO MAINTAIN AN ADEQUATE VISUAL LOOKOUT. A FACTOR WAS COLLISION INDUCED INCAPACITATION.

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