NTSB Identification: BFO91LA082.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 50110.
Accident occurred Saturday, September 14, 1991 in NEW CASTLE, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/13/1993
Aircraft: Schempp-Hirth VENUS CM, registration: N102AG
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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

WITNESSES REPORTED THE MOTORIZED GLIDER LIFTED, CLIMBED, AND THEN DESCENDED INTO A 45 FOOT HIGH POWERLINE BEFORE IT COLLIDED WITH THE GROUND. WITNESSES STATED THE GLIDER TAKEOFF RUN WAS LONGER THAN USUAL. WITNESS STATED THE ENGINE SOUNDS WERE NORMAL. THE DENSITY ALTITUDE WAS COMPUTED TO BE OVER 4000 FEET MSL. ACCORDING TO PERFORMANCE CHARTS, THE TAKEOFF ROLL AND TOTAL DISTANCE OVER A 50 FOOT OBSTACLE WAS 1696 AND 2972 FEET RESPECTIVELY BASED ON AN ELEVATION OF 1500 FEET AND 86 DEGREE F TEMPERATURE. THE AIRFIELD ELEVATION WAS 1320 FEET, AND THE TEMPERATURE WAS 96 DEGREES F. THE GLIDER WAS DETERMINED TO BE ABOUT 15 LBS OVERGROSS. THE EXAMINATION DID NOT DISCLOSE EVIDENCE OF MECHANICAL MALFUNCTION.

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

THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO MAINTAIN ADEQUATE AIRSPEED WHICH RESULTED IN A STALL MUSH. CONTRIBUTING WAS A HIGH DENSITY ALTITUDE CAUSING DETERIORATED AIRCRAFT PERFORMANCE, AND AN INADEQUATE PREFLIGHT PREPARATION WHICH RESULTED IN AN OVERGROSS AIRCRAFT CONDITION.

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