NTSB Identification: CEN09CA007
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, October 04, 2008 in Gardner, KS
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/23/2009
Aircraft: Let Blanik, registration: N48026
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The private pilot was conducting a normal aero-tow takeoff in a glider from runway 21, a 2,154-foot-long turf runway. The tow plane pilot and the glider pilot reported that they both became airborne at approximately 40 knots. Both pilots released the tow rope at the end of the runway when it became obvious that the climb performance of the glider and the tow plane was insufficient to accelerate or to climb out of ground effect. The glider then crashed into the fence at the end of the runway. Weather at the time of the accident was 10 miles visibility, clear of clouds, winds from 150 degrees at 9 knots, with a temperature of 74 degrees and dew point of 57 degrees. Density altitude was calculated as 2,260 feet. Other pilots familiar with this airport report that often in crosswind operations there is induced turbulence from the trees along left side of the departure end of runway 21.

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

The pilot's decision to attempt a takeoff when the climb performance of the tow plane and the glider were inadequate. Contributing to the accident were the high density altitude and the terrain-induced turbulence.

Full narrative available

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