NTSB Identification: NYC02LA027.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, October 03, 2001 in Windsor, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/18/2002
Aircraft: LET Blanik L 33 Solo, registration: N388BA
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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 pilot completed a preflight inspection of the glider, including the cockpit area. After a tow release at 3,000 feet msl, the pilot flew for about 1 hour. To descend, the pilot completed a spin to the right. He then induced a spin to the left, and heard a loud bang when an object struck the inside of the canopy. Then pilot then saw the object float forward and settle into the area where the rudder pedals were located. As he tried to apply opposite rudder, he felt a binding in the pedals. He had sufficient rudder authority to stop the spin's rotation; however, the airplane's dive angle and airspeed had increased significantly. The pilot "pulled back fairly hard" on the control stick, and as the airspeed climbed to 100-110 knots, he recovered the glider. The object that became entangled in the rudder pedals was subsequently identified as a transformer used for charging the glider's battery. The transformer was not normally used in the glider for recharging. It had been borrowed from another club member, and "someone" had used it to charge the battery via a long extension cord. The battery would have normally been disconnected, and put on a small transformer/charger in the club office.

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

The pilot's inadequate preflight inspection, which resulted in a loose battery charger becoming entangled in the rudder pedals during a spin recovery, and a subsequent overstress of the glider. Factors included the loose battery charger, and the non-standard battery charging procedure.

Full narrative available

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