NTSB Identification: MIA00LA038.
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Accident occurred Friday, December 03, 1999 in PALM BCH GARDEN, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/02/2001
Aircraft: Maule MX-7-160, registration: N9235N
Injuries: 1 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 pilot stated that he could not get a towline release at the prebriefed release altitude of 3,000 feet agl, and kept trying until he did effect a release at about 1,200 feet agl. The tow pilot stated that they were still in the towed climb at about 2,800 feet agl, when he experienced an abrupt pull up to the right by the glider that caused a stall and spin of the tow airplane. The towline was finally released simultaneously at about 1,200 feet agl, by both aircraft, and the glider made it back to the gliderport for a normal landing. The tow pilot recovered from the spin at about 700 feet agl, but the engine quit running in the spin, and there was no time to get it restarted. The tow airplane performed a forced landing to a swamp area.

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

The sailplane pilot's failure to comply with standard emergency procedures for 'sailplane release failure' upon its occurrence and his maneuvering of the sailplane while still tethered to the tow plane resulting in the inflight loss of control and engine stoppage of the tow airplane during it's uncontrolled descent and inflight collision with trees and swampland.

Full narrative available

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