NTSB Identification: ATL04LA178.
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Accident occurred Sunday, September 12, 2004 in LaGrange, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/13/2005
Aircraft: Schleicher K6-CR, registration: N23Z
Injuries: 1 Fatal.
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 glider collided with the ground while turning from downwind to base. Witnesses observed the glider "zoom" up and then make a left turn to base; after about 60-degrees of turn the glider entered into a nose-low, left wing low, left hand rotational spin, colliding with the ground in an almost 90- degree nose-low attitude after completing about 270-degrees of rotation. The wreckage was located in a field about one-quarter mile short of runway 13. The wreckage was contained to an area equivalent to the gliders wingspan. The airplane was on it belly and the cockpit was crushed aft and into the center section of the fuselage. An indention in the ground containing cockpit debris was noted just forward of the gliders center section. Both wings as a unit had partially separated from the fuselage just aft of the cockpit area. The right wing was observed folded aft just inboard of the aileron. The vertical stabilizer was observed separated from the horizontal stabilizers and lying adjacent to its attach point to the horizontal stabilizers. Toxicology evaluation detected tetrahydrocannabinol (the primary active substance in marijuana) and its metabolite at levels consistent with very recent use, likely during or just prior to the flight. Toxicology evaluation also detected fluoxetine, a prescription antidepressant, and its metabolite at levels significantly higher than expected for even a maximal routine dose; and olanzapine, a prescription medication used for the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (manic depression). The pilot did not indicate the use of prescription medications or the diagnosis of any mental conditions on his applications for airman medical certificate.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's failure to maintain control of the aircraft which resulted in a stall and subsequent impact with terrain. Factors were the pilot's impairment due to marijuana and his unreported mental conditions.
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