WPR10LA356
WPR10LA356

On July 17, 2010, about 1610 mountain daylight time (MDT), an experimental Parker RS-15 Sailplane, N15LQ, impacted a mountain near Marysvale, Utah. The private pilot/owner operated the glider under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, as a personal flight. The pilot was fatally injured, and the glider sustained substantial damage. The flight departed Parowan Airport, Parowan, Utah, about 1245, and was joined with a group of three other gliders as it proceeded northbound. The pilot intended to return to Parowan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local area flight, and no flight plan had been filed.

The flight was a subject of a family concerned alert notice (ALNOT) issued on July 18 after the pilot failed to return at 2230. The Paiute County Sheriff's Department located the accident site about 0930 the following morning. The sheriff reported that the site was about 1 mile north of Bouillon Canyon, on the side of a 12,000-foot mountain. The glider was on a small plateau, inverted, at the 7,800-foot level on the side of a slope. The debris field consisted of glider components, which were all contained near the main wreckage.

A handheld global position system (GPS) was recovered from the accident site and sent to the NTSB Vehicle Recorder Laboratory for examination and download. The GPS unit sustained impact damage, which prevented any recorded data from being recovered.

Another glider pilot who was the last known person to speak to the accident pilot, reported that he and the accident pilot had made the northern turn at Salina, Utah, which was about 80 nm from Parowan, and they were traveling southbound back towards Parowan. As they approached an area about 15 miles northwest of Marysvale, the accident pilot indicated he was going to proceed southbound towards Junction, Utah, along the hills west of Marysvale.

The accident pilot reported a significant loss of altitude, nearly 5,000 feet, from 14,000 feet to 9,700 feet in a period of 3-5 minutes. The accident pilot told the witness pilot that he was going to divert to the airport at Junction. Shortly thereafter, the accident pilot radioed that the glider had lost additional altitude, and if he was unable to climb, he would land the glider in the fields west of Marysvale. The accident pilot had instructed his ground crew to respond to the Junction airport and await further instructions.

The witness pilot stated that there were strong winds from the southwest at the time of the accident, and he saw lenticular clouds on the east side of the mountains where the accident glider was found.

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