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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 227952
Last updated: 31 August 2020
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Time:12:30 BST
Type:Silhouette image of generic scir model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Schempp-Hirth Standard Cirrus 75
Owner/operator:South Wales Gliding Club
Registration: G-DDGX
C/n / msn: 619
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Lower Raglan Road, Gwernesney, near Usk, Monmouthshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: Take off
Departure airport:Gwernesney Airfield
Destination airport:Gwernesney Airfield
Investigating agency: AAIB
The glider was undertaking an aerotow launch by a Piper Pawnee (G-AVXA) to the west at Gwernesney Airfield which was operated by the resident gliding club. During the early stages of the ground roll the horizontal tailplane (tailplane) detached from G-DDGX and fell to the ground. Club members assisting with the launch signalled for the takeoff to be aborted but the message did not reach the aerotow tug pilot; the accident pilot did not appear to hear or see the stop signals either. The glider became airborne and climbed rapidly, before the tow cable released and the aircraft’s nose dropped. The glider descended steeply and struck the ground nose first. It came to rest inverted pointing in an easterly direction. First responders extricated the pilot from the aircraft before he was airlifted to hospital. He died five days later from complications related to injuries sustained in the accident.

The investigation determined that the tailplane had not been correctly attached when the glider was rigged and this condition was not detected prior to the flight. Several possible mis-rigging scenarios were identified during the investigation, but the precise manner in which the tailplane had been mis-rigged could not be determined.

AAIB Conclusion
The glider tailplane was mis-rigged in such a way that it passed positive control checks but was not secure for flight. It detached early in the ground roll and the aircraft became airborne with no pitch control available to pilot. Stop signals were relayed by the forward signaller but they were not effective in alerting either pilot to the failure. Effective signalling, radio or visual, might have prevented the glider taking off or reduced the severity of the outcome.



Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: AAIB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 10 months
Download report: Final report


Photo: AAIB

Revision history:

06-Aug-2019 21:29 Dr. John Smith Added
09-Aug-2019 21:26 Dr. John Smith Updated [Total fatalities, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
05-Sep-2019 17:21 Dr. John Smith Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Source, Narrative]
28-May-2020 09:39 harro Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Departure airport, Destination airport, Embed code, Narrative, Photo, Accident report, ]

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