NTSB Identification: LAX05LA281.
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Accident occurred Monday, August 29, 2005 in Minden, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/30/2006
Aircraft: Burkhart Grob Flugzeugbau G102 Club Astir IIIB, registration: N925G
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 glider collided with two parked gliders following a bounced landing. The accident flight was the student pilot's first flight in the accident glider make and model. Prior to his departure, the student pilot received a checkout in the glider from the flight school owner. The check out was approximately 10 minutes in duration. The student pilot was not shown how to operate the canopy latch. The canopy latch was not similar to the latch mechanism that the pilot used on the other glider that he had flown. The canopy was closed and the pilot did not check that it was locked prior to departure. The student pilot thought that the canopy locked into place once it was closed because there were springs on the latch. During the takeoff climb, as the tow airplane lifted the glider 300 feet above ground level, the canopy popped open. The student pilot reached up and grabbed the canopy. The student pilot attempted to hold down the canopy with his left arm and fly with his right hand. He then would remove his right hand from the control stick and attempt to latch the canopy, but the control forces from the airflow would not allow the latch to lock. After release from the tow airplane, the student pilot continued flying the glider holding down the canopy with his left arm and using his right hand to control the glider. He ensured that the landing pattern was clear and setup for landing. As he approached the runway, the glider was above its normal approach speed and the pilot released the canopy and partially applied the spoilers. The open canopy resulted in a drag condition and the glider sank rapidly and impacted the runway on its main wheel. The glider then bounced straight up approximately 200 hundred feet and the student pilot moved the stick forward to lower the nose, and in the second ground contact, impacted two gliders parked on the ramp. The student pilot had a total time of 35 hours in gliders, with 1.5 hours of solo flight. As required by 14 CFR 61.87 (c), the student pilot logbook was not endorsed by a certified flight instructor for solo flight in this model of glider.

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

the student pilot's failure to ensure that the canopy was properly latched prior to departure. The inadequate supervision of the flight by the instructor and flight school was also causal.

Full narrative available

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