NTSB Identification: LAX06LA158.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, May 03, 2006 in Aguila, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/25/2007
Aircraft: Schweizer SGS 1-26D, registration: N7729S
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 descended into flat terrain during the initial climb in an aero tow. After obtaining takeoff acceleration, the glider became airborne in a normal trailing position behind the tow plane. When the tow plane reached an altitude of about 15 to 30 feet agl, the glider began to pitch nose-high, and the tow pilot felt the airplane's tail being pulled upward. The glider continued to pitch upward, and climbed about 150 feet agl before the tow rope broke. The glider pitched over in a slight nose-low attitude, and began a shallow turn to the runway. While in the turn, the glider's bank angle increased and the nose dropped. The glider's airspeed became very slow, and it continued to turn, eventually spiraling into the ground in a 50 to 60 degree nose-low attitude. A postaccident examination of the glider, including a detailed examination of the control system, revealed no anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain control of the glider during takeoff-initial climb, which resulted in a broken tow rope, a spiral, and an in-flight collision with terrain. A factor associated with the accident is the pilot's failure to correct the spiral.

Full narrative available

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