On August 16, 1997, at 1400 central daylight time (cdt), a Piper PA-25-235, N9781P, operated by Hinckley Soaring, Inc., collided with the terrain following a loss of control during climb shortly after takeoff from the Hinckley Airport, Hinckley, Illinois. The airplane was towing a glider at the time. The glider released from N9781P and landed without incident. The pilot received minor injuries. The airplane was substantially damaged from impact and post impact fire. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from Hinckley, Illinois, shortly before the accident occurred. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot reported that shortly after rotation, at an altitude of about 50 feet above ground level (agl), he felt a "large pull" on the tail of his airplane. He glanced back and noticed the glider was "very high and off to my left side." He reported that the position of the glider put his airplane in a level to slight nose low attitude. He reported he looked forward and felt slack in the line so he thought the glider was moving back into position. Shortly thereafter, at an altitude of about 100 to 150 feet agl, he then felt a "violent jerk" which caused the nose of his airplane to pitch down to a 45 degree angle. He reported that he believes the glider was directly over his airplane at this time. He reported that the tow line was released, but his airplane continued to descend contacting the ground in a 30 degree nose down attitude. The pilot reported that the entire event occurred within 10 to 15 seconds.