On October 24, 1998, at 1600 eastern standard time, a Grob G103-Twina, N4446T, was substantially damage during landing at Saratoga County Airport (5B2), Saratoga Springs, New York. The certificated private pilot and passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed for the personal flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot stated that the purpose of the flight was to conduct a local area glider flight. He estimated the winds at the time of the accident were 270 degrees magnetic at 10 to 15 knots, and that the sky was clear.
The pilot departed 5B2 about 1535 from Runway 23, and released from the tow-plane at 3,000 feet MSL. The pilot stated he looked for thermals, but found none, and that he remained within 2 miles of the airport until about 1550, when he decided to abort the flight due to insufficient lift. After deciding to abort the flight, he positioned himself on a left downwind at 800 feet above the ground for Runway 23. From downwind, he turned base, and then final. According to the pilot, it was the last flight of the day, so he planned to land long. It was club policy for the pilots to land long on the last flight of the day, because the glider was tied down at the departure end of Runway 23.
The pilot stated that while on final, he had his hands full just to keep the glider lined-up with the runway, and that the ride was very "bouncy." According to the pilot, he carried approximately 10 knots of extra airspeed while on final because of the turbulence. He did not recall his exacted speed, but estimated it to be about 70 knots.
The pilot added that the glider touched down at the intended touchdown point, but bounced back into the air. He stated that after the first bounce, he was focusing on maintaining runway alignment that the glider started to oscillate from "Pilot Induced Oscillation." After contacting the runway a total of four times, the pilot was able to regain control of the glider and complete the landing. The pilot estimated that from initial runway contact until he regained control, was approximately 500 feet.
The pilot inspected the glider, and found the tail wheel crushed into the tail of the glider. He also observed several cracks in the tail that penetrated the gel-coat and underlying fiber glass.