Accident Schleicher ASK 21 ZK-GTG, Sunday 31 May 2020
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Date:Sunday 31 May 2020
Time:14:45 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic ask1 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Schleicher ASK 21
Owner/operator:Taupo Gliding Club
Registration: ZK-GTG
MSN: 21865
Year of manufacture:2009
Total airframe hrs:3027 hours
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Mt Tauhara, Taupo -   New Zealand
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Taupō Gliding Centre - Centennial Drive, Taupō
Destination airport:Taupō Gliding Centre - Centennial Drive, Taupō
Investigating agency: TAIC
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
An instructor from the Taupo Gliding Club conducted a trial flight with a short-term member (the student). The flight was the second of the day for the instructor, who had previously flown a similar trial flight with another short-term member.

The instructor flew over the Mount Tauhara walking track near the southeastern face of the mountain. The glider was observed by witnesses walking the track from near the trig station on the summit. The glider was last seen flying past the trig station at about the same height as the trig station, but on the downwind side and with the left wing down. The witnesses saw and heard the glider’s left wing strike scrub and, as it subsequently went out of their sight, they heard further sounds of impact. Neither occupant survived the accident.

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission found that the glider impacted terrain while the instructor was likely attempting to escape from a situation where the glider was at a low height above the mountain and downwind of the ridge face. Despite the instructor’s efforts to manoeuvre the glider away from rising terrain on the right-hand side, a collision with the terrain became unavoidable.

The Commission found that the Taupō Gliding Club had limited systems in place to positively verify that pilots had an appropriate level of competency to soar on Mount Tauhara.

The Commission also found that the Taupō Gliding Club procedures for instructor training and ongoing competency were not in accordance with Gliding New Zealand’s Manual of Approved Procedures.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: TAIC
Report number: AO-2020-002
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 3 years and 5 months
Download report: Final report



Taupo 20Dec2011


Revision history:

31-May-2020 07:03 Spitfirepilot19 Added
31-May-2020 07:03 harro Updated [Aircraft type]
31-May-2020 11:55 RobertMB Updated [Location, Phase, Nature, Damage, Narrative]
01-Jun-2020 06:09 JMW69 Updated [Departure airport, Destination airport, Source]
01-Jun-2020 15:54 Alpine Flight Updated [Time, Registration, Operator, Source, Narrative]
02-Jun-2020 12:52 JMW69 Updated [Aircraft type, Nature, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
02-Jun-2020 12:56 RobertMB Updated [Registration, Cn, Nature, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
02-Jun-2020 20:07 JMW69 Updated [Registration, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
16-Jun-2020 09:15 Anon. Updated [Narrative]
17-Jul-2020 12:46 flyernzl Updated [Photo]
09-Oct-2021 02:59 Ron Averes Updated [Location]
02-Feb-2022 01:08 Ron Averes Updated [Operator, Location]
02-Feb-2022 02:14 Ron Averes Updated [Location]
13-Nov-2023 13:55 harro Updated [Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Narrative, Accident report]

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