NTSB Identification: SEA99LA087.
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Accident occurred Thursday, June 17, 1999 in BELGRADE, MT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/03/2000
Aircraft: Let L-13, registration: N70741
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.

After performing two 360 degree turns on base leg before turning final due to traffic which had not cleared the runway, the glider was cleared to land. Ground control asked him to immediately remove the glider off the north side of the runway upon rolling out. The student was flying the glider at that time. The tow pilot entered the runway in front of the glider and motioned to turn the glider off the runway. The glider flight instructor said that he started to give instructions to the student to put the left wing down to start the turn, but realized they were going too fast to safely make a turn without hitting the tow pilot. The instructor took the controls and tried to make a right turn away from the tow pilot and tow plane, but toward the runway. The wing tip of the glider struck the prop of the tow plane and caused damage to the underside of the glider's wing. The tow pilot noted that he assumed the tower would have told the glider pilot the same instructions he had received. He said he expected the glider pilot to be prepared for his hand signals directing him off of the runway. The tow pilot believed that, not having been briefed by the tower, the glider was landed longer and faster than usual to fit the flight instruction that the student required. The instructor said that while the instructions from the tower were distracting and caused the glider to be low on final, ' I think the communication to the tow pilot (and not the glider) caused the tow pilot to enter the runway and caused the evasive maneuver that contributed to the accident. Despite the confusion a safe landing was underway until that time; I should have rolled out straight ahead and made the tow pilot jump clear and then the collision would have never occurred.'

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

The pilot in command's failure to maintain clearance from a parked airplane during his attempt to avoid a person on the runway.

Full narrative available

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