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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: DEN08LA137A
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, August 09, 2008 in Brackettville, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/29/2009
Aircraft: Schempp-Hirth Ventus 2A, registration: N777UN
Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

According to the pilot of N110RG, he was stabilized in a right 55 degree bank and had completed three turns when he heard a loud bang and immediately "lost control." The right wing dropped, the glider rolled to the right, and went inverted. The pilot of N110RG exited the glider and deployed his parachute. During the egress he was seriously injured. According to the pilot of N777UN, he had observed two gliders in the thermal in front of him and entered the thermal underneath them. After two turns in the thermal, he lost sight of the two gliders and collided, shortly thereafter, with N110RG. His left wing and winglet impacted the right wing of the other glider. The pilot of N777UN landed uneventfully. N110RG was destroyed and N777UN sustained minor damage. The damage to the right wing, sustained during the collision, rendered N110RG uncontrollable. Soaring procedure recommend that the pilot exit a thermal if visual contact is lost with another glider and cannot be established via a radio call.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • The failure of the pilot of N777UN to exit the thermal upon losing visual contact with the other gliders, resulting in a midair collision.