SEA99TA051
SEA99TA051

On April 14, 1999, about 1500 Pacific daylight time, an ICA-Brasov IS-28B2, N843, registered to and operated by the pilot as a public use instructional flight, collided with power lines while on approach to a private airstrip near North Plains, Oregon. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The glider was substantially damaged. The flight instructor received minor injuries, while the pilot-rated passenger, also a flight instructor, was not injured.

The purpose of the flight was a currency check for the pilot-rated passenger. The pilot-in-command (PIC) reported that the winds were from the northeast at 15 knots, gusting to 20 knots. The parallel runways are oriented in an east/west direction. At the west end, a road runs perpendicular to the runways, with tall fir trees on the west side of the road, and power lines (about 30 feet in height, and three strands) run along the road on the east side. Normal operations are to take off to the east on the north runway, and land to the west on the south runway.

The PIC reported that he first flew solo in order to accomplish three landings for currency. The PIC reported that the first two landings were made to the west on the south runway with a tailwind. The third landing was made to the east, into the wind, and over the trees and power lines. The PIC reported that the approach was normal, however, the descent was quicker, and the glider stopped shorter than it had ever done before on the runway.

After this landing, the second pilot then boarded the glider in the front seat to accomplish three landings for currency with the PIC in the rear seat. The PIC stated that the first landing was made without incident to the west on the south runway. As the glider was being prepared for the second flight, the PIC told the tow pilot and wing runners that the second landing would be made to the east on the south runway. The PIC stated that after takeoff, the tow plane climbed to 1,000 feet and the glider released. After making a few turns, the second pilot set-up for the landing to the east on the south runway. The PIC reported that the approach was normal and commented to the second pilot that "it looked just about right." At this time, the second pilot commented to the PIC that the tow plane was landing on the north runway. The PIC responded that he was not to worry, as the tow pilot knew of their intentions. The PIC reported that at this point, he noted that the airspeed and height was good and stated that he should have reminded the second pilot about the power lines. The PIC stated that just as the glider passed over the trees, the second pilot deployed the spoilers and the glider started to descend too soon, as it had not yet cleared the power lines. The PIC stated that he shoved the spoilers closed and looked for the wires which he could see one about to pass under the glider. The nose of the glider contacted one of the upper wires which slid up and over the canopy, breaking the Plexiglas over the aft seat. The second pilot was able to maintain pitch and roll in a level attitude as the glider dropped to the ground and landed hard on the main gear.

The second pilot stated that he had never landed to the east before, and although he was aware that there were power lines at the west end of the runway, he thought the power lines were closer to the trees on the opposite side of the road. The second pilot also stated that he might also have been a little distracted by the landing tow plane on the north runway.

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