WPR12LA285
WPR12LA285

On June 9, 2012, about 0930 Pacific daylight time, a Schweizer SGS 2-33A glider, N2061T, was substantially damaged after colliding with an airport sign at the Truckee-Tahoe Airport (TRK), Truckee, California. The certified commercial pilot, who occupied the front seat and his sole passenger, who occupied the rear seat, were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and a flight plan was not filed. The proposed local flight, which was originating at the time of the accident, was being operated in accordance with 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

In a written statement submitted to the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge (IIC), as well as in a follow up telephone conversation with the IIC, the pilot reported that on the takeoff roll from runway 19, he was unable to lift the left wing before the wing tip struck the [3,000-foot] runway distance remaining sign; the outboard section of the left wing sustained substantial damage as a result of the collision. The pilot further reported that he was able to release from the [tow airplane] in time, but was unable to stop before the glider collided with the sign. The pilot stated that the cause of the accident was due to a sudden and strong wind gust from behind the glider, and that at the time of the accident the wind was variable at 10 knots, with gusts to 15 knots.


The pilot added that the sign in question has been an obstruction since the airport crew moved it from behind the takeoff area to in front of the takeoff area.

During the investigation, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) aviation safety inspector assigned to the accident provided documentation from a FAA civil engineer assigned to the San Francisco Airports District Office, which included pertinent data relative to the placement of the subject sign. The civil engineer referenced FAA Advisory Circular (AC) 150/5340-18F, Chapter 2, Runway Distance Remaining Signs, and determined that the subject sign's location was in compliance with the distance requirements as outlined in the AC.

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