NTSB Identification: NYC89FA074.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 36933.
Accident occurred Saturday, January 28, 1989 in BLAIRSTOWN, NJ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/15/1991
Aircraft: CESSNA 305A, registration: N5300G
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

CESSNA 305A, N5300G, WAS BEING USED TO TOW A GLIDER (SCHWEIZER SGS-1-26C, N8612R) FROM A 3102 FT GRASS RWY. THE GLIDER PLT ESTIMATED THE TOW LINE WAS LESS THAN 150 FT IN LENGTH. HE RPRTD THE SCHWEIZER WAS VERY SENSITIVE ON TOW & THAT THE MANUFACTURER'S RECOMMENDED TOWING SPEED WAS 50 TO 60 MPH, BUT THE TOW PLT PREFERRED A HIGHER TOW SPEED. ON SVRL PREVIOUS OCCASIONS, THE GLIDER PLT HAD REQUESTED A 'CONSERVATIVE' SPEED. RPRTDLY, THEY COMPROMISED ON A SLOW TOW TO 1000' AGL, THEN A SPEED OF 80 MPH TO THE RELEASE POINT. THE GLIDER PLT STATED THE WIND WAS GUSTY, BUT THE INITIAL CLIMB AFTER TAKEOFF WAS NORMAL TO ABOUT 150' AGL, THEN THE GLIDER ENCOUNTERED TURBULENCE. SLACK DEVELOPED IN THE TOW LINE & THE GLIDER PLT CORRECTED BY USING YAW. WITNESSES RPRTD THE GLIDER MOVED OUT OF PSN TO THE LEFT, THEN RIGHT, THEN BACK LEFT & HIGH, RAISING THE TAIL OF THE TOW PLANE. SUBSEQUENTLY, THE TOW PLANE ENTERED A STEEP DSCNT & CRASHED, THOUGH BOTH PLTS HAD RELEASED THE TOW LINE. THE GLIDER LNDD SAFELY. NO PREIMPACT MECHANICAL PROBLEMS WERE FOUND.

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

DELAYS BY BOTH PILOTS IN RELEASING THE GLIDER TOW LINE AFTER THE GLIDER PILOT ALLOWED THE GLIDER TO MANEUVER EXCESSIVELY ABOVE THE TOW AIRCRAFT. THE WEATHER CONDITIONS WERE FACTORS.

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