Schweizer 2-33 Glider C-GCLB - Epilogue

Report / September 8, 2013 / Project number: Schweizer-CGCLB-B-Cat

Location: Langley, British Columbia
Date: 08 September 2013
Status: Investigation Complete

During the occurrence flight, the solo Cadet Pilot (CP) released from the tow aircraft and practiced turns and stalls before joining a very wide left downwind for Runway 7.

On the downwind leg just past the abeam point of the touchdown zone the CP noted that the aircraft was higher than desired and deployed full spoilers. Shortly thereafter, to further increase the descent rate, the pilot entered a forward slip. The CP began a left turn on to the base leg and maintained full spoilers and forward slip throughout the turn.

Upon rolling out on base leg, the CP noted that the aircraft was low, forward slip was discontinued, but spoilers remained fully open. The CP angled in toward the airport and looked for the airfield, but could not visually acquire it. The CP aimed the aircraft at a stand of trees.

The aircraft struck two trees and came to rest on the roof of a convenience store approximately ½ a nautical mile west of the airfield. Damage to the glider was very serious. The pilot contacted Langley Tower to provide his location by reading the street signs below. Emergency services were notified, and the pilot was extracted from the cockpit and transported to a local hospital for minor injuries.

Four preventative measures have been recommended: 1. NCA Ops should amend ACGP manual, to emphasize high sink rates that can develop with side or forward slipping, full spoiler, and when slipping with spoilers selected. 2. NCA Ops should assess the risk and determine the viability of modifying the ACGP manual during the 2016 Air Cadet Flying Training and Flight Safety Meeting, in order to determine if Gliding Instructors should teach Cadet Pilots to initially identify the downwind position using a landmark feature, then having joined the downwind confirm its accuracy with slant range angle estimation. 3. NCA Ops should amend ACGP manual, to emphasize the importance of ensuring the spoilers are fully closed whenever it has been determined that the aircraft is below the optimal glide profile. 4. NCA Ops should review ACGP manual, for proficiency and currency requirements in light of this occurrence and amend the ACGP QS if required.

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