NTSB Identification: DEN89DTE01.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 37624.
Accident occurred Sunday, October 16, 1988 in ERIE, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/25/1989
Aircraft: HICKS/MERVIN RH-3, registration: N69272
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

THE HOMEBUILT GLIDER WAS WINCH LAUNCHED TO A HEIGHT OF 300 TO 500 FT AGL. WITNESSES SAID THE PLANE PORPOISED 3 TIMES AND THE TOW LINE SEPARATED. THE WITNESSES SAID THE FUSELAGE THEN BUCKLED AT A PT SLIGHTLY AFT OF THE WING TRAILING EDGE. THE REAR SECTION OF THE FUSELAGE AND EMPENNAGE THEN SEPARATED AND THE GLIDER CRASHED. PIECES OF THE WOOD FROM THE GLIDER FRAME WERE SENT TO A FOREST PRODUCTS LABORATORY. NO EVIDENCE OF WOOD DECAY WAS FOUND; HOWEVER, THE UREA-FORMALDEHYDE GLUE USED IN THE ORIGINAL CONSTRUCTION SHOWED EVIDENCE OF DEGRADATION. THE SPECIALIST ALSO NOTED THAT THERE WERE SEVERAL AREAS WHICH HAD BEEN REGLUED, HAD FAILED, AND HAD BEEN REPAIRED.

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

FUSELAGE..FAILURE,TOTAL

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

MAINTENANCE,INSPECTION..INADEQUATE..PILOT IN COMMAND

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