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NTSB Final Report: Schleicher Alexander GMBH & Co ASH 26 E

The Motor Glider Impacted The Ground About 77° Nose Down Attitude 

Location: Wellington, CO Accident Number: CEN23FA391
Date & Time: August 31, 2023, 13:39 Local Registration: N50FU
Aircraft: Schleicher Alexander GMBH & Co ASH 26 E Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On August 31, 2023, about 1339 mountain daylight time, a Schleicher Alexander Gmbh & Co ASH 26E motor glider, N50FU, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Wellington, Colorado. The pilot sustained fatal injuries. The motor glider was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. 

Transmitted flight track data from the International Gliding Commission (IGC) flight recorder showed the self-launching motor glider depart to the northwest from the Owl Canyon Gliderport (4CO2) at 1320. During the climb, several turns were performed and a maximum global positioning system (GPS) altitude of about 7,800 ft was observed at 1330. The IGC data showed the motor glider entered a steady descent on a northwest track, performed a 180° turn, and tracked to the southwest for about 2 miles before it turned back to the west. The IGC position at 1339:43 showed the motor glider on a track of about 296°, 60 knot groundspeed, and a GPS altitude 5,948 ft, which is about 250 ft above ground level.

The accident site was in a relatively flat agricultural field about 6 nautical miles northwest of the gliderport. The motor glider impacted the ground about 77° nose down attitude on a heading of 213° about 900 ft north of the last recorded position. The impact site consisted of a small circular depression and two ground scars that extended the length of the wingspan. The wreckage was located about 15 ft northeast of the impact site upright and oriented with the ground scar.

Flight control continuity from the motor glider control surfaces to the cockpit controls were confirmed. Both flap control surfaces, aileron control surfaces, and the cockpit flap actuator were in the landing position. Both wing airbrake surfaces were in the retracted position. The propeller and driveshaft were in the “halfway in” position with no damaged observed to the propeller blades. The propeller was perpendicular to the storage position and the propeller stop control was in the non-stop position. 

The wreckage was retained for further examination. 

FMI: www.ntsb.gov


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