On May 5, 2002, at 1210 eastern daylight time, a Burkhart Grob G103, N5364G, was substantially damaged during a collision with terrain while landing at the Mid-Atlantic Soaring Center (W73), Fairfield, Pennsylvania. The certificated private pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local personal flight, conducted under 14 CFR Part 91. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot stated that he was making an approach to runway 33L, one of two parallel grass runways, during a left-to-right crosswind. As he turned from the base leg onto the final approach course, he realized that he overshot the intended runway, and decided to land on runway 33R.
The pilot further stated that during his attempt to align the glider with runway 33R, he left the spoilers deployed for too long, and descended faster than expected. The glider approached the touch-down point in a left-wing-low attitude, and the pilot was unable to level the wings before the left wing tip struck the ground. The glider rotated to the left, and the side load broke the tail boom.
The pilot flew four glider flights on the week before the accident, one earlier on the day of the accident. Two of the flights were in the Burkhart Grob G103. Prior to those two flights, he hadn't flown a G103 for several years.
When asked about the performance and handling of the glider, the pilot stated: "The glider performed fine. It was responding as designed. Unfortunately, the inputs were not correct."
The pilot held a private pilot certificate with a glider rating. He reported 440 glider flights, for a total of 214 hours of flight experience. His most recent biennial flight review was April 7, 2002.
The weather reported at Hagerstown, Maryland, 18 miles west of the accident site, included clear skies with variable winds at 3 knots.