NTSB Identification: SEA04LA187.
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Accident occurred Saturday, September 11, 2004 in The Dalles, OR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/24/2005
Aircraft: WSK PZL Warzawa-Okecie PZL-104 Wilga 80, registration: N10RN
Injuries: 2 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Both the tow plane pilot and the glider pilot in tow reported strong gusting winds from their left at the time of takeoff. The tow plane pilot and one witness reported that the glider gained altitude rapidly and raised the tail of the tow plane. The tow plane pilot was unable to maintain control as the aircraft was pulled to the left. The tow line was released and the glider pilot aborted his takeoff and landed straight ahead without further incident. The tow plane veered off the side of the runway, traveling over rough terrain. The tow plane subsequently nosed over coming to rest inverted. The glider pilot reported that just after the tow plane lifted off a gust of wind raised the left wing and the right main landing gear touched the runway surface. The glider pilot seeing that the tow plane was in trouble, released from the tow plane and landed on the remaining runway. At the time of the accident, the winds were reported from 310 degrees at 19 knots, gusting to 26 knots. Takeoff was from runway 2.

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

Aircraft control was not maintained by the tow plane pilot and the glider pilot did not maintain a proper climb rate during the initial climb. A direct crosswind and wind gusts were factors.

Full narrative available

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