NTSB Identification: CHI90DEC05.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 42358.
Accident occurred Sunday, September 30, 1990 in RICHMOND, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/09/1992
Aircraft: SCHLEICHER ASW-22, registration: N8W
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

SHORTLY AFTER BECOMING AIRBORNE THE PILOT RETRACTED THE FLAPS WHILE IN A NORMAL LOW-TOW POSITION. THE PILOT NOTED THAT THE GLIDER THEN SETTLED INTO AN EXTREMELY LOW-TOW POSITION. HE HESITATED ON MAKING ANY ATTITUDE CORRECTIONS FEARING IT WOULD CAUSE THE TOW AIRCRAFT TO STALL. AT AN ALTITUDE OF APPROXIMATELY 180 FT, THE GLIDER PILOT RELEASED THE TOW LINE AND LINED UP FOR A FORCED LANDING IN A FIELD. DURING THE FINAL APPROACH TO THE FIELD. THE RIGHT WING CONTACTED A TREE AND THE AIRPLANE DESCENDED TO GROUND IMPACT.

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

THE PILOT'S PREMATURE RETRACTION OF THE FLAPS ALLOWING THE GLIDER TO SETTLE INTO AN UNUSUALLY LOW TOW ALTITUDE.

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