On May 29, 2000, about 1330 Eastern Daylight Time, a Schweizer SGS 2-33A Glider, N1225S, was substantially damaged during landing at the Sterling Airport (3B3), Sterling, Massachusetts. The student pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the instructional flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
According to the student pilot, he took off from 3B3 and was towed to an altitude of 2,700 feet. He reported the weather was "fairly cloudy," and he "could not find any lift." After approximately 15 minutes, the pilot returned to the airport and performed two 360 degree turns to enter a right traffic pattern for Runway 16. At an altitude of 1,200 feet above the ground, the pilot noticed the glider was higher than it should be. At the midfield point, on the downwind leg of the traffic pattern, the glider was 1,000 feet above the ground, and the pilot extended the spoilers. The base leg of the traffic pattern was performed about 700 feet above the ground. When the glider was turned onto the final approach, the right wing was kept down and left rudder was applied to initiate a slip.
The student pilot further stated, "I didn't feel the usual vibrations or hear the usual noise that I'm used to hearing when I slip the airplane." He rolled the glider level for a moment, and then entered the slip again. After flying past "10-20%" of the 3,010 foot long runway, the pilot felt the slip wasn't working, and straightened out the glider. The glider touched down "90% down the runway," and the pilot realized his speed was too fast. The glider became airborne again, turned to the right, and touched down a second time on a road located about 10 feet below the runway elevation. The glider proceeded through an embankment and hit several road signs with both wings, before turning 180 degrees and coming to rest.
The pilot stated that the winds were not a factor in the accident. He reported that a check of the wind sock before takeoff revealed it was "barely off the pole." The pilot additionally stated the reason for the accident was an "ineffective slip."
A Federal Aviation Administration inspector who examined the glider, reported that the skid mount under the nose was broken, the tailwheel was broken, and both wings displayed impact damage.
The winds reported at 1354, at an airport 10 miles away, were from 090 degrees at 9 knots.