DEN03LA001
DEN03LA001

On October 3, 2002, at approximately 1400 mountain daylight time, a LET Blanik L-13 glider, N99805, was destroyed during an off airfield landing near Morgan, Utah. The private pilot and his passenger were seriously injured. Morgan Valley Soaring of Morgan, Utah, was operating the aircraft under Title 14 CFR Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal local flight that originated approximately 30 minutes before the accident. No flight plan had been filed.

According to the pilot, the glider was towed to approximately 7,300 feet msl and released. After climbing to 10,500 feet, in an area 5 to 10 miles southeast of the airport, the pilot decided to try another area. He proceeded to an area 6 miles northwest of the airport, where he experienced "very little lift and lots of sinking air." He continued to the south in search of lift, and after finding none, made a decision to return to the airport and land. As his sink rate continued to increase, now greater than 1000 feet per minute, the pilot decided to land in a farm field. During landing, he flew under a power line to avoid striking it, and caught the left wing tip on the top line of a barbed wire fence. The glider collided with a mound of dirt.

The glider's owner said there was "a lot of sink in the vicinity of the airfield." He said the field prior to the one the pilot landed in, was shorter in length, but had a paved parking lot. At the end of this field, was a gravel pit with dirt piled 8 to 10 feet high, and a fence separating the two fields. According to an FAA inspector, the pilot bypassed a predeveloped subdivision that included approximately 3,000 feet of paved, straight roadway. The inspector also said the pilot had about 300 acres of open land in which to choose a suitable landing area. The owner said the pilot told him he was too high to land in the first field and would have had to circle. The pilot also told him he hit severe sink about halfway over the first field. According to the owner and the FAA inspector, the glider impacted the pile of dirt about 1 foot from the top of the pile, hit the top of a fence while going under some power lines, impacted the roadway, and traveled across the roadway and through another fence. The glider came to rest approximately 3/4 of a mile from the end of the runway.

The glider sustained damage to the horizontal stabilizer and elevator, and the leading edges of both wings. The spar was broken in the right wing, and the main keel of the fuselage was broken.

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