WPR12LA250A
WPR12LA250A

On June 7, 2012, at 1446 Pacific daylight time, a Schempp-Hirth Standard Cirrus glider, N943SB, and a Centrair C101A glider, N101LV, collided in mid-air near Sparks, Nevada. The private pilot in the Schempp-Hirth and the commercial pilot in the Centrair were not injured. Both gliders sustained substantial damage. The Schempp-Hirth was being operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91; the Centrair was being operated by Bay Area Soaring Associates, Inc., under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Neither pilot had filed a flight plan for their local flight from Air Sailing Gliderport (NV23), Sparks. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. Both gliders had been towed aloft approximately 30 to 45 minutes before the accident.

Both pilots reported that they were aware that other gliders were operating in the same area, and that they were maneuvering over hilly terrain looking for convective lift when the collision occurred. The pilot of the Schempp-Hirth reported that he did not see the Centrair approaching head on until it passed directly overhead. The pilot of the Centrair reported that he was in level flight descending through 7,000 feet above mean sea level when he suddenly saw the Schempp-Hirth appear beneath the nose of his glider, slightly to his right, heading in the opposite direction. Neither pilot had time to react, and the left wingtip of the Schempp-Hirth collided with the right wingtip of the Centrair. Both gliders were able to return to their launch gliderport and land safely.

The Schempp-Hirth had about 2 feet of its left wingtip nearly sheared off and about 75 percent of its left aileron was missing. Additionally, its fuselage was compressed and wrinkled at the root of the left wing. The Centrair had about 2 feet of its right wingtip sheared off and about half of its right aileron was missing.

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