LAX95LA196
LAX95LA196

On May 27, 1995, at 1230 Pacific daylight time, a Rolladen- Schneider LS-6 glider, N64UW, collided with the ground following a loss of control during the takeoff initial climb at the Montague-Yreka Rohrer Field, Montague, California. The glider was owned and operated by the pilot and was beginning a local area personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and included calm wind conditions. No flight plan was filed. The glider sustained substantial damage. The certificated commercial pilot, the sole occupant, incurred serious injuries.

Ground witnesses observed the accident sequence and reported that the glider was being towed aloft by a tow plane. The witnesses said the tow plane lifted off normally; however, the glider did not seem to lift off in a normal manner. As the glider achieved about 50 feet agl, the pilot released the tow line. The glider then banked slightly to the left, then rolled to the right. The right roll continued until the glider was at a very steep bank angle and entered a spiral, which continued to ground impact.

According to the witnesses, no one saw the pilot perform a control continuity check after assembly of the glider prior to takeoff.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airworthiness inspector from the Sacramento, California, Flight Standards District Office responded to the accident site and examined the glider. He reported that the glider is equipped with quick disconnect fittings on the control system push/pull tubes in the wing center section. The fittings allow the control system to be disconnected and reconnected as the wings are removed or installed. The right aileron/flaperon fitting was found disconnected.

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