NTSB Identification: CHI02LA131.
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Accident occurred Friday, May 10, 2002 in Union, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/18/2003
Aircraft: Glaser-Dirks-Flugzeubau DG-100G, registration: N169LM
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 pilot lost control of the glider during the initial takeoff phase of an aero-tow launch. The pilot reported, "When I was ready to launch, I gave the wing-runner the signal to lift the wing and he did. I [signaled] the tow plane to begin take-off. At the start of the take-off roll, I gave a little right rudder input as the glider was veering left of the intended path. Almost immediately I saw the nose of the glider was moving very erratically. I decided to attempt to abort the launch by pulling the release." The pilot stated that after the tow-rope release was made, "... the plane was a few feet above the ground and it was out of control." The pilot reported the glider impacted the terrain on the north side of the runway. The pilot did not report any mechanical problems or malfunctions with the glider. A weather observation station, located at the De Kalb Taylor Municipal Airport (DKB), about 16 nautical miles (nm) from the accident site on a 213 degrees magnetic heading, recorded the wind conditions approximately 8 minutes after the accident as 260 degrees magnetic at 15 knots gusting to 18 knots.

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

The pilot not maintaining aircraft control during the aero-tow takeoff. Factors to the accident were the high wind velocity and the gusting wind condition.

Full narrative available

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