NTSB Identification: WPR09CA368
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, July 24, 2009 in Ephrata, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/19/2009
Aircraft: SCHWEIZER SGU 2-22CK, registration: N3907A
Injuries: 1 Minor,1 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 certified flight instructor (CFI) and student pilot were onboard the glider readying it for an automobile tow launch. The CFI reported giving the 'take up slack' command to the wing walker, who was steadying the wings. Before the slack was taken up by the tow vehicle driver, the wing walker prematurely gave the launch signal. The tow driver then accelerated and the glider was suddenly launched into the air. The CFI attempted to control the glider by applying full forward elevator and simultaneously attempting to release the tow line. The glider struck the ground with the line still attached and was again launched into the air as the tow truck continued to accelerate. The tow line then released and the nose of the glider struck the ground. The glider sustained substantial damage to the aft fuselage structure during the accident sequence.

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

The premature launch signal given by the wing walker.

Full narrative available

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