NTSB Identification: NYC02LA004.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, October 02, 2001 in Waynesburg, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/02/2002
Aircraft: Rich Woodstock I, registration: N21468
Injuries: 1 Serious.
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 student pilot/builder of the glider made five successful tow releases and landings from a paved runway, and was making his first tow release from grass. The driver towed the glider to the starting point, the student pilot got onboard, and he and another individual installed the canopy. The student pilot/builder checked the security of the canopy with a "push-up" on it, then began the glider tow. At liftoff, about 38 knots, the glider hit a clump of grass, and the canopy departed the airframe. The student pilot raised his left arm to protect his face, and thought he must have pulled back on the control stick as he avoided the canopy. The glider stalled about 10 feet in the air, then hit the ground. The student pilot/builder had difficulty latching the canopy prior to previous tows, and felt that the latching mechanism may have been twisted.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: An improperly secured canopy latch, which resulted in canopy separation during liftoff and the pilot's subsequent loss of control. A factor was the improper installation of the latch. Full narrative available
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