NTSB Identification: WPR11LA317
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, July 08, 2011 in Bigfork, MT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/12/2013
Aircraft: SCHWEIZER SGS 2-32, registration: N591CC
Injuries: 1 Fatal,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 pilot examiner reported that the purpose of the flight was to renew the pilot’s flight instructor certificate; the accident flight was the second flight of the day. Prior to the accident flight, the examiner briefed the tow plane pilot and the pilot receiving the glider check ride that the next flight would be a simulated rope break during takeoff at an altitude of about 260 feet above the ground. The examiner reported that during takeoff, he released the tow rope at 260 feet and noticed that the glider’s airspeed was slowing. He informed the pilot to increase the airspeed and bank the glider until it was lined up with runway. The examiner stated that before the glider was aligned with the runway, the pilot made a quick control stick movement to the right, which caused an accelerated stall. Multiple witnesses observed the glider depart the airport uneventfully via a tow airplane. As the glider ascended through about 200 to 300 feet, it appeared to release from the tow rope. Shortly after, the glider was observed entering a steep right bank and descended into the ground. A postaccident examination of the airframe revealed no evidence of mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.

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

The pilot’s failure to maintain adequate airspeed and his excessive control inputs during a simulated rope break while taking off, which resulted in an accelerated aerodynamic stall.

Full narrative available

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