NTSB Identification: LAX08LA254A
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, August 02, 2008 in Jean, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/12/2009
Aircraft: SCHWEIZER SGS 2-33A, registration: N33923
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.

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 and a tow plane collided in flight while maneuvering over the airport. Both pilots reported that the glider had performed a normal tow breakaway at 3,000 feet mean sea level and turned right 60-70 degrees. After the glider released the tow line, the tow plane turned left 90 degrees, held that course for about 30 seconds, then turned right 90 degrees, coming to a course that approximately paralleled the original course. The tow plane pilot turned the airplane back to the southwest and continued the descent to the airport. Neither pilot kept the other airplane in visual contact as they maneuvered over the airport. The tow plane pilot said that he did not see the glider beneath the nose and instrument panel of his airplane. The right landing gear of the tow plane contacted the tail of the glider at a slight left to right crossing angle. The collision occurred while both airplanes were on a southwesterly course. The glider pilot said the rudder pedals had become ineffective, but he was able to maintain directional control by using angle of bank. Both airplanes landed safely at the airport.

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

The failure of both pilots to see and avoid the other aircraft while maneuvering over the airport.

Full narrative available

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