NTSB Identification: ERA12LA455
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, July 13, 2012 in Hilltown, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/12/2013
Aircraft: BURKHART GROB G 103 TWIN II, registration: N5448G
Injuries: 2 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 flight instructor-in-command was in the rear seat, and the flight instructor receiving instruction was in the front seat for flight instructor winch-launch glider training. The two pilots had flown multiple launches earlier that day, with each flight preceded by a briefing. After practicing recoveries from simulated rope breaks at 400 feet and 10 feet above ground level (agl), the intent for the accident flight was to simulate a rope break at 200 feet agl, which the flight instructor-in-command expected would result in a straight-ahead landing. The ground roll, takeoff, and transition to climb were “normal,” and the flight instructor in command pulled the release lever about 150 feet agl. The flight instructor receiving instruction nosed the glider over, and established a wings-level airspeed of about 54 knots. However, instead of landing straight ahead, the flight instructor receiving instruction turned the glider to the right, then to the left, and attempted to land opposite the direction of takeoff. There was insufficient altitude to complete the maneuver, and the glider impacted trees. The flight instructor-in-command could not remember the latter part of the flight due to head trauma, but the flight instructor receiving instruction stated that the flight instructor in command did not take control of the glider at any time before impact. Neither pilot reported any preexisting mechanical anomalies that would have precluded the glider’s normal operation.

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

The improper decision of the flight instructor receiving instruction to attempt a course reversal rather than land straight ahead following a simulated low-level rope break, and the inadequate remedial action of the flight instructor-in-command for allowing him to do so.

Full narrative available

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