NTSB Identification: LAX00LA233.
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Accident occurred Saturday, June 17, 2000 in COLEVILLE, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/14/2001
Aircraft: Piper PA-25-260, registration: N8578L
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The commercial pilot was attempting to tow a sailplane out from a field. The sailplane pilot had lost lift and made a precautionary landing, and contacted the tow plane company for assistance. After landing the tow plane in the open field, both pilots paced off about 15/1,600 feet, which the tow pilot estimated would be sufficient for takeoff at 5,300 feet msl. The density altitude was calculated to be about 7,903 feet msl. During the takeoff climb the tow plane collided with a fence. The sailplane released, overflew the tow plane about 2 to 4 feet, and collided with another fence.

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

the tow plane pilot's inadequate airplane performance calculations.

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