Wirestrike Accident Schempp-Hirth Standard Cirrus N71DA, Friday 19 September 2003
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Date:Friday 19 September 2003
Type:Silhouette image of generic scir model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Schempp-Hirth Standard Cirrus
Registration: N71DA
MSN: 145
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:near Lone Pine, CA -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Lone Pine, CA (026)
Destination airport:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The glider collided with power lines shortly after the pilot released from the tow airplane. Prior to departure, the pilot assembled the glider by himself. During the initial climb out, the tow airplane's climb performance was poor, and the tow pilot noticed that the glider's spoilers were in the deployed position. The tow pilot opted to return back to the airport and while in the turn, the glider pilot released from the towline. The glider pilot announced over the radio that he was having problems with the spoilers and planned to attempt to maneuver back to the airport. The glider turned and then continued on a flight path until impacting high-tension power lines. The glider's service manual states that prior to departure the pilot should check the function of the control surfaces, and ensure that the spoilers are operating properly. A post accident examination of the spoiler control rods inside the fuselage revealed that the inboard sections of both control rods were not connected to their corresponding bell crank. The glider is designed in such a way that to assemble the spoilers, the person performing the assembly must access the control rods from the cockpit, by going through the aft bulkhead. While connecting the spoilers, it is not possible to visually assess how to make the assembly. The assembly must be done by feeling the parts and connecting them without any visual reference.
Probable Cause: the pilot's inadequate assembly of the glider and improper preflight inspection, which resulted in an inadvertent deployment of the spoilers. Also causal was the pilot's failure to maintain obstacle clearance. His diverted attention to the control problems presented by the deployed spoilers was a contributing factor.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: LAX03LA291
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report


NTSB: https://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=20031001X01644&key=1


Revision history:

27-Sep-2008 01:00 ASN archive Added
15-Jan-2009 12:22 harro Updated
27-Oct-2009 03:23 DColclasure Updated
21-Dec-2016 19:16 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
21-Dec-2016 19:20 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
08-Dec-2017 19:28 ASN Update Bot Updated [Nature, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]

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