Schweizer 2-33A Glider C-GFMB - From the Investigator

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Report / August 15, 2016 / Project number: Schweizer C-GFMB - B Category

Location: 19 Wing Comox, British Columbia
Date: 2016-08-15
Status: Investigation Ongoing

The Cadet Pilot (CP) was conducting the 8th solo training flight under the Air Cadet Gliding Program (ACGP) at 19 Wing Comox Airport.

The CP completed upper air work then joined the left hand downwind for landing on the grass runway 30, known as the Primary Landing Area (PLA).  The CP turned base leg slightly later than ideal, angled in towards the PLA, and selected half spoilers.

The Launch Control Officer (LCO) assessed the glider’s overall energy state as sufficient to land within the PLA, but the glider’s forward speed was slower than ideal.  The LCO advised the Solo Monitor (SM) to closely monitor the CP. 

The CP turned final, closed spoilers, and attempted to regain airspeed.  The CP was assessed by the LCO and SM as descending below profile and flying slow.  The SM made a radio call to the CP to pitch the nose forward.  The SM radio call went unheard by the CP.

Shortly after, the LCO and SM saw the glider’s nose pitch upwards and the left wing drop towards the ground. The glider then descended rapidly and impacted the ground approximately 850 feet short of the PLA threshold.

The CP was extracted from the cockpit and transported to the Comox General hospital.  The CP was seriously injured and the glider was very seriously damaged.

The investigation is currently focussing on the following six areas:

  • the CP’s circuit management;
  • the CP’s training; 
  • the construction of the ACGP glider circuit;
  • solo monitoring; 
  • spoiler paint scheme; and 
  • aircrew strap-in procedure.
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