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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 29341
Last updated: 17 November 2021
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Type:Schempp-Hirth Nimbus 3DM
Registration: N11ZQ
MSN: 23
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Alamogordo, NM -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Alamogordo, NM (ALM)
Destination airport:
Investigating agency: NTSB
The two pilots had arrived from Europe 3 days before the accident to take part in a 2 week long world record soaring attempt. They departed on runway 21 (elevation 4,200 feet) in a self-launch motorized glider and turned east towards the mesa (elevation 9,100 feet). A fellow pilot said that the motor is usually stowed at 1,000 meters, and the stowing process takes between 2 to 3 minutes. The aircraft is flown strictly as a glider after that. The glider disappeared from radar approximately 10 minutes later. Two other gliders departed within 30 minutes, and they reported good uplift and strong downdrafts. The mesa top was heavily forested and the temperature was approximately 25 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than the departure airport. The downed glider was found 3 days later, and the impact signatures suggest a flight track of 235 degrees. The accident aircraft was found approximately 300 to 400 yards from the western edge of the mesa. The toxicological report on the second pilot (the pilot flying) indicated that he had Phenobarbital in his liver and kidney. The FAA does not approve of this prescribed medication in pilots, while they are on flight status.
Probable Cause: The flight crew's inadequate in-flight planning to fly over the mesa with insufficient altitude. A contributing factor was the downdraft weather condition




Revision history:

27-Sep-2008 01:00 ASN archive Added
23-Jun-2009 03:20 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]
10-Dec-2017 11:21 ASN Update Bot Updated [Cn, Nature, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]

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