NTSB Identification: FTW02LA057.
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Accident occurred Sunday, December 16, 2001 in El Paso, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/02/2002
Aircraft: Schleicher ASW-24E, registration: N134EK
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.

During the aerial tow takeoff of the glider, between 50 and 100 feet agl, the tow rope broke. Witnesses observed the glider turn right, then make a left turn back towards the runway. The glider entered a steep bank to the left of approximately 90 degrees, at which time the glider stalled, impacted the ground with its left wing and nose, cartwheeled, and came to rest in an upright position. A tailwind condition existed at the time of the takeoff.

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

the pilot's failure to maintain minimum airspeed for flight, resulting in an inadvertent stall while maneuvering. A contributing factor was the failure of the tow rope.

Full narrative available

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