Mon, Nov 30, 2009
"Very Windy" Conditions May Have Contributed To Potential For
A weekend of Northern California soaring has turned tragic for
two pilots... one in a Schleicher sailplane and the other in a
Piper PA-25 Towplane. Reports from the scene indicate that the
accident at Crazy Creek gliderport in Northern California occurred
as both aircraft turned in for landing -- from opposite
The glider had gone off tow fairly early in the flight and
returned using a right hand pattern... the towplane was using the
standard left hand pattern. Only the sailplane was (so far)
reported to be radio-equipped.
The area is in the midst of rising terrain and gusty winds are
said to often be fairly turbulent.
According to initial NOAA Accident reports, the Saturday
accident involved a "Schleicher ASW-27 glider (N127AL) inbound on
right base collided in flight with Piper PA-25 (N7023Z)
inbound on left base, east of the Crazy Creek Glider Port near
Middletown, CA at 1900Z. Both aircraft substantially damaged. Two
pilots fatally injured."
Sources have ID'ed the glider pilot as Hal Chouinard (63) and
the PA-25 Pilot as Sean Boylan. Local weather reports identified a
number of peak gusts in excess of 30 knots... some considerably so.
Both aircraft impacted the ground within 100 yards of each
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