MIA98LA023
MIA98LA023

On November 1, 1997, about 1521 eastern standard time, a Let Blanik L-13, N65140, registered to a private individual, operated by Southern Soaring, Inc., as a 14 CFR 91 instructional flight, crashed in the vicinity of Swan Creek Airport, Elkin, North Carolina, while on final approach to runway 20. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The glider sustained substantial damage. The certified flight instructor, (CFI) and rated commercial pilot student reported no injuries. The flight departed the same airport about 1509. The CFI stated that the student had flown seven to eight instructional flights with a least two other instructors, and was close to soloing. Previously, the student had "bounced" a landing, so the training emphasis this flight was to be towed flight and landing touchdown. The student's turn to final approach put them about 2,000 feet from the runway threshhold, on speed, on centerline, and about 100 feet high; high enough, in fact, that the CFI remembers considering that to be an opportune time to demonstrate the sideslip maneuver, but reconsidered. In quick succession the glider went low, the student voiced doubt they would make the runway, the CFI took control, quickly considered and rejected a cow pasture, and collided with an airport perimeter fence short of the runway.

The tow pilot compared landing to takeoff conditions as, "higher winds from the south, heavy sink, and turbulence". The CFI said, "...winds picked up...160, 170 to 210" (degrees), "...15 gusting to 20" (knots) and he ".. encountered sink, but little turbulence".

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