Family Of Three Fatally Injured When The Aircraft Impacted Terrain
NTSB investigators are focusing on a tail dolly that was apparently inadvertently left attached to a sailplane which went down in Wallis, TX, on Fathers Day, resulting in the fatal injury of a family of three. The pilot was a CFI who was taking his wife and young child for a ride when the accident occurred.
NTSB Identification: CEN12FA378
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, June 17, 2012 in Wallis, TX
Aircraft: IAR BRASOV IS-28B2, registration: N6388V
Injuries: 3 Fatal.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.
On June 17, 2012, about 1655 central daylight time, an IAR Brasov model IS-28B2 glider, N6388V, impacted terrain after a loss of control while maneuvering near the GHSA-Wallis Glideport (TE71), Wallis, Texas. The certified flight instructor (CFI), an adult non-pilot passenger, and a lap child were fatally injured. The glider was substantially damaged. The glider was registered to and operated by Greater Houston Soaring Association under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. At the time of the accident the glider was departing from TE71 for the local flight.
After a previous flight, the glider was repositioned for another departure on runway 18 (4,000 feet by 125 feet, dry grass). The CFI, assisted by ground crewmembers, attached a temporary-use tail dolly in order to move the glider into the proper launch position. The CFI then seated himself in the rear seat while other individuals assisted the adult passenger with her lap belt and shoulder harness straps in the front seat. The child was then positioned in the lap of the front seat passenger, and the cockpit canopy was shut and latched. The tow plane moved into position in front of the glider, at which time the tow rope was attached to both aircraft. As the tow plane and glider accelerated down the runway several witnesses noticed that the tail dolly remained attached to the glider. The witnesses immediately advised the glider operations dispatcher, who in turn made the radio call “abort, abort, abort”.
Both aircraft became airborne, and about 50 to 75 feet above the ground, the tow rope was observed to be released from both aircraft. Several witnesses said the glider immediately entered a steep nose-up attitude, climbing to about 150 feet above the ground. The glider then completed a level right turn to the west before entering a near vertical descent, impacting terrain nose first. The glider came to rest in an agricultural field about 3,500 feet from the original launch position. The tow plane made an uneventful landing and was undamaged during the event.