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On September 12, 2004 at 1330 eastern daylight time, a Schleicher K6-CR glider, N23Z, registered to a private owner, and operated by a private pilot, collided with the ground while turning from base leg to final approach for runway 13 at LaGrange Municipal Airport in LaGrange, Georgia. The personal flight was operated under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91, and visual flight rules. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the local pleasure flight. The pilot received fatal injuries and the glider sustained substantial damage. The flight originated in LaGrange, Georgia, on September 12, 2004, at 1230.
According to witnesses, they saw the glider on downwind for runway 13, about 200 feet above the ground. Just prior to the glider turning base they observed the glider "zoom" up and then make a left turn to base. It was from the "zoom" maneuver that the glider then made the turn. After about 60-degrees of turn the glider entered into a nose-low, left wing low, left hand rotational spin. The glider collided with the ground in an almost 90- degree nose-low attitude after completing about 270-degrees of rotation. Several witnesses telephoned the 911 operator and notified them of the accident, while others proceeded to the accident site to see if they could be of any assistance.
A review of information on file with the Federal Aviation Administration Airman's Certification Division, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, revealed that the pilot was issued a private pilot certificate with ratings for single engine land and a Glider. A review of records on file with the FAA Aero Medical Records revealed the pilot held a third class medical certificate issued on May 20, 2004, with no restrictions. The pilot reported on his application for the medical certificate that he had accumulated more then 500 total flight hours in all aircraft. A review of the pilot's personal logbook found that the pilot had accumulated 63 hours in gliders.
A review of maintenance records revealed that the annual inspection was completed June, 2004, and had accumulated about 50 hours of flight time since that inspection. The gliders airframe total time at the time of the accident was about 900 hours.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
The wreckage was located in a field about one-quarter mile short of runway 13. The wreckage was contained to an area equivalent the gliders wingspan. The airplane was on it belly and the cockpit was crushed aft and into the center section of the fuselage. An indention in the ground containing cockpit debris was noted just forward of the gliders center section. Both wings as a unit had partially separated from the fuselage just aft of the cockpit area. The right wing was observed folded aft just inboard of the aileron. The vertical stabilizer was observed separated from the horizontal stabilizers and lying adjacent to its attach point to the horizontal stabilizers.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
The Division of Forensic Sciences Georgia Bureau of Investigation State of Georgia conducted a postmortem examination of the pilot on September 14, 2004. The reported cause of death was "Cervical Spine Fracture due to blunt force trauma of the neck, and the Manner of death was accident." The Forensic Toxicology Research Section, Federal Aviation Administration, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma performed a postmortem toxicology of the specimens from the pilot. There was no Carbon Monoxide or Cyanide detected in the blood, there was no Ethanol detected in the Vitreous. However, there was Tetrahydrocannabinol, Tetrahydrocannabinol Carboxyic acid (Marihuana) detected in the blood and liver. Also, there was Fluoxetine and Norfluoxetine detect in the blood and Fluoxetine was detected in the urine.
The glider wreckage was released to the registered owner on September 15, 2004