NTSB Identification: WPR09LA317
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, June 29, 2009 in Paragonah, UT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/22/2010
Aircraft: SCHEMPP-HIRTH VENTUS 2CM, registration: N68MP
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 pilot was competing in a glider competition. He was going to depart using the glider’s engine; however, it would not start so the pilot was required to enter the departure line with the other gliders that were being towed. The initial takeoff was uneventful. The tow plane pilot reported that the glider released from the tow plane approximately 1,800 feet above ground level, which was 200 feet lower than the normal release altitude. A witness then reported that the nose of the glider pitched up and down until entering into a descent to ground impact. Data obtained from onboard recorders showed that the glider entered into a left spiral dive until impact with the ground. Examination of the wreckage revealed no pre-impact mechanical malfunctions that would have resulted in a loss of control. The pilot had a history of coronary artery disease with angioplasty and stent placement 3 months prior to the accident, and an intermittent abnormal heart rhythm (atrial fibrillation) noted at that time. He would have been at low risk for clot formation in the stent or for stroke or other incapacitation related to his atrial fibrillation, but the condition of his remains did not permit the evaluation of any potential abnormalities in the heart or brain. The pilot did not have a current FAA medical certificate, and none was required for the operations in which he was engaged.

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

The glider departed controlled flight for undetermined reasons.

Full narrative available

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