On February 10, 1999, at 1415 eastern standard time, a WSK PZL-Krosno KR-03A glider, N210C, was substantially damaged during an off airport landing in Kutztown, Pennsylvania. The certificated flight instructor was not injured. The dual student pilot received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local instructional flight that originated at the Kutztown Airport (N31), approximately 1350. No flight plan was filed for the flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
In a written statement, the flight instructor said:
"...[he] followed the tow to the north where we encountered lift, to approximately 4,000 feet, after releasing from the tow plane which shortly turned to sink. Turned south toward the airport, and the sink rate was still increasing as we shortened the distance between the airport and us. At times we encountered slight lift but to no avail, we'd enter sink again. Altitude getting critically low, turned and landed the aircraft in a field. No injuries to occupants of glider, when the glider was driven to a hard landing on the lee side of the hill. Wings were level and the glider was still flying when we touched down. (Only wish the landing site was level)."
In a telephone interview, the student pilot said:
"Before we left he said we'd be out for a long time because there was a lot of lift. He'd already been out and said there was a lot of lift. We were towed over to the mountains where there was a lot of lift and then the weather seemed to change. It just seemed like all we got was sink. We were watching the variometer and it went from a lift situation to a sink situation. [The instructor] said we might have to look for a field to put it down. He took the flight controls and we searched for a place to put it down but all the landing sites looked lame. Then it seemed like, we were down. There were trees coming up and it didn't look like we were going to clear them. We went to the left [of the trees] and were in a level attitude at ground contact. It wasn't stalling or anything. It came to a sudden stop only because we were going uphill, it wasn't level ground."
When questioned about how the flight was conducted, the student pilot said:
"He's a no-fooling-around guy. He gets up there, he's serious about everything. He's right on the ball, there's never a problem."
The flight instructor reported 13,481 hours of flight experience, of which 380 hours were in gliders.
Weather reported at Reading, Pennsylvania, 10 miles southwest of Kutztown, at 1345 was: scattered clouds at 20, 000 feet with 40 miles of visibility. The winds were from 320 degrees at 12 knots gusting to 19 knots.