NTSB Identification: ERA12CA378
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, May 28, 2012 in Mocksville, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/26/2012
Aircraft: PDPS PZL-BIELSKO SZD-55-1, registration: N817V
Injuries: 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.

According to the pilot, the glider's heading differed about 5 degrees from that of the towplane when the towplane began its takeoff roll. The pilot used rudder to correct the heading, but the glider dragged a wing and yawed 70 degrees to its right. The glider lifted 3 to 5 feet above the runway, the pilot released the tow, the glider touched down in a sideslip, and the resultant side load on the tail landing gear "buckled the tailboom 90 [degrees]." The pilot reported that there were no mechanical deficiencies with the glider that would have prevented normal operation, and that the accident might have been prevented by ensuring alignment of the glider with the towplane prior to the takeoff roll.

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

The glider pilot's failure to attain and maintain directional control during takeoff.

Full narrative available

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