NTSB Identification: CHI91LA279.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 45249.
Accident occurred Sunday, September 01, 1991 in DECATUR, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/04/1992
Aircraft: VARGA 2180, registration: N686EE
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 ACCIDENT AIRPLANE COLLIDED WITH TREES AND TERRAIN WHILE ATTEMPTING TO CLIMB FROM TAKEOFF WITH A SAILPLANE IN TOW. THE SAILPLANE RELEASED FROM THE TOW PLANE AND RETURNED TO THE DEPARTURE AIRPORT. ACCORDING TO THE PILOT THE AIRPLANE ENCOUNTERED LIGHT TO MODERATE TURBULENCE DURING INITIAL CLIMB AND THE AIRPLANE SANK INTO TREES ONE MILE NORTH OF THE AIRPORT. IN AN INTERVIEW AFTER THE ACCIDENT THE PILOT DID NOT REMEMBER DOING A WEIGHT AND BALANCE CALCULATION BEFORE TAKEOFF. WHEN QUESTIONED ABOUT STALL RECOGNITION AND RECOVERY THE PILOT STATED THAT THE ACCIDENT AIRPLANE WAS DIFFERENT FROM OTHER AIRCRAFT IN THAT YOU ONLY HAD TO HOLD THE NOSE UP AND THE AIRPLANE WOULD FLY ITSELF OUT. THE DENSITY ALTITUDE AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT WAS 2500 FEET. THE AIRPLANE WAS ESTIMATED TO BE AT OR SLIGHTLY ABOVE ALLOWABLE GROSS WEIGHT AT TAKEOFF.

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

INADEQUATE PREFLIGHT PLANNING AND PREPARATION AND AIRPLANE PERFORMANCE DATA NOT UNDERSTOOD BY THE PILOT. FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH THE ACCIDENT ARE THE PILOT'S LACK OF TOTAL EXPERIENCE IN TYPE OF OPERATION, DELAYED REMEDIAL ACTION, AND THE OPERATOR'S INSUFFICIENT STANDARDS AND REQUIREMENTS.

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