NYC00LA230
NYC00LA230

On August 12, 2000, about 1615 Eastern Daylight Time, a homebuilt Windrose glider, Canadian Registry C-GELQ, was destroyed when it impacted terrain in Marion, Ohio. The certificated commercial pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed for the local flight that departed the Marion Municipal Airport (MNN), about 1600. The personal flight was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

According to the pilot/builder, the glider was towed to, and released at, 2,000 feet agl. While circling to the left in a thermal, a gust lifted the glider's right wing and flipped the glider inverted. The glider then quickly entered a spiral dive. The pilot further stated:

"The speed built so quickly that I determined it was near red line and a bailout was a better option than having it breakup in the air at low altitude. My altitude was about 2,400 feet agl, when I entered this maneuver. There was no control failure and I parachuted to a safe landing..."

The unoccupied glider then impacted in a bean field and was destroyed.

A glider pilot conducting a flight between 4,000 and 5,000 feet, near the center of MNN, witnessed the accident. He observed the accident glider just northeast of his position, over the airport. He stated "...There were strong thermals and the wind aloft was about 18 knots. I observed the right wing of the Windrose raise very quickly, inverting it and snapping into a left hand spin."

The surface winds reported at MNN, at 1553, were from 360 degrees at 10 knots.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Advisory Circular AC 20-27D "Certification and Operation of Amateur-Built Aircraft," stated in part:

"The amateur-built program was designed to permit person(s) to build an aircraft solely for educational or recreational purposes. The FAA has always permitted amateur builders freedom to select their own designs. The FAA does not formally approve these designs since it is not practicable to develop design standards for the multitude of unique design configurations generated by kit manufacturers and amateur builders." It also stated, "Since 1983, FAA inspections of amateur-built aircraft have been limited to ensuring the use of acceptable workmanship methods, techniques, practices, and issuing operating limitations necessary to protect persons and property not involved in this activity."

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