Schweizer 2-33A Glider C-GCLE - Epilogue

Report / August 21, 2017 / Project number: Schweizer C-GCLE - B Category

Location: Gimli, Manitoba
Date: 2017-08-21
Status: Investigation Complete

The accident took place during the summer Air Cadet Gliding Program at the Gimli Cadet Flying Training Center located at the Gimli Industrial Park Airport in Manitoba. The accident flight was the cadet student pilot’s eighth solo air lesson and fourth flight of the day.

The winds were 240 degrees at 8 knots and the operation was conducting right hand circuits to the grass primary landing area adjacent to runway 15. After an uneventful downwind leg, the student pilot turned right onto the base leg and lowered the nose to establish the glider at the pre-calculated final approach speed. At approximately 300 feet above ground level, the student pilot overshot the extended centerline of the primary landing area. The student pilot quickly ruled out a final turn below 300 feet and elected to continue straight ahead on an extended base leg. The intent was to land on the apron and to bring the glider to a stop prior to impacting the parked aircraft and the hangars directly ahead, but not knowing if there was sufficient landing distance available.

To descend quickly, the student pilot maintained a nose low attitude and made use of full spoilers. A forward slip was initiated but quickly abandoned as the airspeed increased and the student pilot became distressed. In order to avoid the parked aircraft, the student pilot veered the glider slightly to the right.

The glider landed firmly on the apron in alevel attitude and bounced twice. The glider came to an abrupt stop when it impacted the steel bollard surrounding a fire hydrant located 24 feet from one of the hangars.

The student pilot was transported to the local hospital via ambulance, treated for minor injuries and later transferred to a medical facility in Winnipeg. The student pilot was released from the medical facility the following afternoon. The glider sustained very serious damage.

The investigation identified shortcomings in the student pilot’s training management and several working and training environment issues including student/instructor ratio, course length and manning of key positions within the Chain of Command. Safety recommendations include the implementation of formal Solo Monitor training, an amendment to the student/instructor ratio, the employment of a single-hatted CFI, an increase to the course length, and amendments to the Air Cadet Gliding Program reference documents.

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