NTSB Identification: WPR09LA313
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, June 25, 2009 in Cedar Valley, UT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/09/2009
Aircraft: ROLLADEN-SCHNEIDER OHG LS3-A, registration: N800JM
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 was being towed aloft by a tow-plane. Takeoff procedures for the glider required that the flaps be set at 0 degrees until aileron effectiveness, and then the flaps should be set at 10 degrees. The pilot had 0 degrees of flaps selected, and during the ground roll, the left wing was dragging on the ground surface. He attempted to align the glider with the runway and removed his hand from the flap handle and placed it on the tow release handle, intending to abort the takeoff. He leveled the wings and the glider lifted from the runway. The pilot gained control of the glider and intended to extend the flaps 10 degrees; however, his hand was still on the tow release handle and he unintentionally pulled the tow release at 75 to 100 feet above ground level. During the forced landing, the pilot misjudged the flare, the glider landed hard, and the pilot sustained serious spinal injuries.

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

The pilot inadvertently applied the tow release handle.

Full narrative available

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