ATL98LA090
ATL98LA090

On July 3, 1998, about 1600 eastern daylight time, a Waggon und Maschinenbau Phoebus C glider, N2157, collided with terrain on takeoff, at a private airstrip near Perry, South Carolina. The accident occurred at the time of departure. The glider was operated under Title 14 CFR Part 91, and visual flight rules. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan had been filed. The private pilot received minor injuries, and the glider was substantially damaged. According to the pilot, the glider was being towed for takeoff by a truck. As the glider reached its takeoff speed of 45 knots, he remembers pulling back on the control stick. From that point on, the pilot has no recollection of the events that took place. According to the tow driver, on takeoff, the glider rotated sharply nose-up, rolled left, and struck the ground inverted.

The FAA inspector stated the pilot had not flown this type of high performance glider in the last 30 days. He also stated the glider stalled and began a left spin on initial tow, due to the pilot rotating too hard, too fast, and too low to the ground. The nose pitched up above 90 degrees, allowing the tow cable to automatically release, and the glider stalled approximately 75 feet above the ground. It impacted the ground inverted, downwind from the runway centerline.

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