NTSB Identification: WPR09CA479
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, June 30, 2009 in Jean, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/03/2010
Aircraft: SCHLEICHER ASK-21, registration: N63JJ
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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 pilot reported that after climbing to about 50 feet above ground level and reaching an airspeed of about 60 knots "...the glider would not continue to climb and immediately began to descend." The pilot stated that he lowered the nose and released the tow rope to land straight ahead, but immediately upon releasing [the tow rope] the left wing raised and the aircraft drifted right between the two runways. The pilot further stated, "In spite of a full left control stick input the glider continued to roll steeply right, and at the same time [I] had the sensation of being blown sideways and that the tail was being lifted up in an uncontrollable nose-down attitude." The pilot reported that the aircraft struck the ground on the right wing tip first, then the front nosewheel, then the tailwheel. The aircraft sustained substantial damage to the undercarriage and the empennage. The pilot stated that he thought he had encountered a dust devil that was not in view and to the rear of the glider during takeoff. A witness reported that the glider seemed to be "...pushed down, though making forward progress until it turned steeply right." The pilot reported no anomalies with the glider.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain control of the glider during the initial climb due to an inadvertent encounter with wind.

Full narrative available

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