NTSB Identification: ERA10CA477
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, August 27, 2010 in Windsor, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/16/2011
Aircraft: BEAM-WALTER RS-15, registration: N29WB
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.

According to the pilot/co-owner of the experimental amateur-built glider, he assembled the glider prior to takeoff, which required that the left and right ruddervators be placed in the flight position and secured with a spring-loaded pin, inserted through three holes. The pilot stated that he visually checked that the pin was properly installed, and physically shook the ruddervators prior to takeoff. The glider was being towed for takeoff, and was approximately 6 to 10 feet above the ground, when the right ruddervator rotated toward the left ruddervator. The pilot was not able to control the glider, and disconnected from the tow plane. The glider subsequently impacted the ground and sustained substantial damage to the fiberglass fuselage. Postaccident examination of the glider by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector did not reveal any malfunctions of the ruddervator locking mechanism. The pin required about 25 pounds of force to move, and made a snapping noise when released. The inspector noted that the snapping noise was associated with the pin inserting through all three holes; however, further inspection revealed that the pin had only gone through two of the three holes.

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

The pilot's inadequate installation and preflight inspection of the right rudervator assembly, which resulted in a loss control during takeoff.

Full narrative available

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