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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 234331
Last updated: 24 March 2020
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Type:Silhouette image of generic DISC model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Schempp-Hirth Discus CS
Registration: PH-1317
C/n / msn: 311CS
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Minor
Location:Venlo glider airfield -   Netherlands
Phase: Landing
Departure airport:Venlo glider airfield
Destination airport:Venlo glider airfield
The pilot had set off in westerly direction from Venlo glider airfield. Approximately 15 minutes later, the takeoff and landing directions were changed to the east because the wind direction had changed. All pilots who had taken off from Venlo were notified by radio. After a flight of nearly one hour, the Discus’ pilot entered the circuit at an altitude of 200 metres. The pilot stated that he performed the downwind call and then conducted the checks (wheel, water, flaps, wind, landing site, landing speed).
As the glider was on the base leg and the pilot opened the airbrakes, the wheel alarm sounded. The pilot then checked whether the wheel lever, which was supposed to be pushed to the front, was actually in that position. However, he failed to check whether the handle was in the ‘lock’ position to lock the wheel in place.
The wheel then collapsed during rollout after the landing. Due to the strong deceleration, the pilot was lifted from his seat and banged his head against the canopy. This caused the canopy to fracture over a length of approximately 50 centimetres.
The pilot was unharmed. The pilot stated that he did not check if the wheel lever was in the lock position after the downwind alarm sounded. The reason was that he had experienced an unjustified alarm several times before. When letting down the wheel, he had forgotten to set the wheel lever to the right. The wheel was therefore down but not locked. He stated that he was focusing on the approach and landing and did not want to take his attention away from those operations for too long. Occurrences that have not been investigated extensively
The gliding club conducted an internal investigation and shared its findings with the Dutch Safety Board. The pilot was able to hit the canopy with his head because the belts were not tightened sufficiently. Within the club, it was found that tightening the belts was subject to different interpretation. A difference of opinion was brought to light as to how much the belts should be tightened. In two known cases, this led to canopy damage.
The club’s investigation resulted in the following recommendations:
• Provide an unambiguous description for securing the safety belts.
• Devote more attention to the correct sitting position and the use of safety belts in the training and taking lessons on a different glider model.
• Issue a safety bulletin to bring the importance of a correct sitting position and the correct use of safety belts to the members’ attention.
• Stimulate reporting of all technical defects.
The pilot was a seventeen-year-old solo flyer. He had a total flight experience of 205 starts (approximately 82 hours), 3 of which (approximately 5 hours) involved the glider model in question. The number of starts in the last 3 months prior to the accident was 32 (approximately 22 hours).


Revision history:

24-Mar-2020 08:48 harro Added

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