On July 3, 1998, approximately 1400 Pacific daylight time, a Grob G102 glider, N707NL, registered to and operated by the Boeing Employees Soaring Club, Inc., and being flown by a commercial pilot, incurred substantial damage when one of the aircraft's wingtips struck a pole while landing, approximately 12 miles east of Douglas, Washington. The pilot was uninjured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed. The flight, which was personal in nature, was to have been operated under 14CFR91, and originated as a round-robin glider flight from Ephrata, Washington. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot stated that the accident occurred while he was making an off-airport landing. He attempted to land next to a road in a plowed field. The terrain was rolling wheat fields, alternately plowed and in use. He stated that he was circling a house, looking for lift when he made the decision to land. He widened his circle and flew north, parallel to the road. There was no indication of high winds, and he didn't have to crab the aircraft to correct his track over the ground. He stated that he turned toward the road and as he passed the mid-point of his turn to the intended final approach, he realized that he was being carried into the power wires on the far side of the road. He was at wire height and in about a 45 degree bank. He didn't think he could get over the wires and didn't want to increase bank angle, so he flew under the wires at about a 30 degree angle to the road. The right wingtip struck the pole, spinning the glider. He said the glider came to a stop, with its tail pointed 180 degrees from the direction of travel in the edge of a wheat field. He noted that within 30 minutes, a thunderstorm came through the area.