Erwinna, PA Misrigged Civil Air Patrol Schweizer SGS 2-33A Glider Crashes Seriously Injuring the Pilot, May 2013

civil air patrol glider

On May 4th 2013 a Civil Air Patrol Schweizer SGS 2-33A glider, N2045T, was substantially damaged resulting in one serious injury when it impacted trees and terrain, near Erwinna, Pennsylvania. The mechanic who conducted a flight control check after the annual inspection with assistance from another pilot seated in the cockpit stated that he confirmed movement of the rudder while at the rear of the glider; however, he did not see which pedal the pilot was pushing and did not verbally confirm the corresponding position of the rudder pedals. If the pilot had conducted a thorough pre-flight inspection, he should have been able to detect that the rudder control cables were rigged backward.

NTSB - Report - https://app.ntsb.gov/pdfgenerator/ReportGeneratorFile.ashx?EventID=20130...

Analysis
The glider pilot intended to practice stalls after being towed to an altitude of 3,000 feet mean sea
level. Shortly after takeoff, the tow pilot observed the glider yaw left, then right, and then left again.
He added that, for most of the tow, the glider appeared to be above the normal tow position with its
nose pointed 45 degrees right. About 400 feet above ground level, the glider pilot released the tow
line, and the glider turned about 180 degrees left; its right wing then impacted trees, and the glider
pitched down and impacted terrain. Postaccident examination of the wreckage revealed that the
rudder control cables were rigged backward. The accident flight was the first flight following the
glider’s most recent annual inspection. Before the annual inspection, the rudder had been removed
for repair then re-installed. The mechanic who conducted a flight control check after the annual
inspection with assistance from another pilot seated in the cockpit stated that he confirmed
movement of the rudder while at the rear of the glider; however, he did not see which pedal the pilot
was pushing and did not verbally confirm the corresponding position of the rudder pedals. If the pilot
had conducted a thorough preflight inspection, he should have been able to detect that the rudder
control cables were rigged backward.
Flight Events
Initial climb - Flight control sys malf/fail
Initial climb - Loss of control in flight
Uncontrolled descent - Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)
Probable Cause
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot’s loss of glider control due to improper rigging of the rudder control cables, the mechanic’s
inadequate flight control checks following the glider’s most recent annual inspection, and the pilot’s
failure to perform a thorough preflight inspection.

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A Bernards man was injured after he crashed a New Jersey Civil Air Patrol glider,in Bucks County, Pa.
BUCKS COUNTY, PA — A 70-year-old New Jersey pilot who was injured Saturday after his glider crashed at a Bucks County airfield remains in the hospital, according to a report in Lehigh Valley's The Morning Call.
Eldon Vosseller, of the Basking Ridge section of Bernards, was hospitalized for injuries just after noon Saturday after his glider crashed during take-off on the grassy runway of Van Sant Airport in Tinicum Township, Pa.
Vosseller had been piloting a New Jersey Civil Air Patrol glider when it crashed.
Steven Long, chief of the Bucks County Rangers, told The Morning Call that Vosseller remained in the hospital's intensive-care unit.
A nursing supervisor at St. Luke's University Hospital in Bethlehem, Pa., would not confirm Tuesday morning the extent of Vosseller's injuries or his status at the hospital.
Messages left for family members at Vosseller's Basking Ridge home had not yet been returned.

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May 05, 2013|By Patrick Lester, Of The Morning Call:

The glider pilot injured after crashing at a Bucks County airfield on Saturday remained in the intensive care unit at St. Luke's University Hospital-Fountain Hill Sunday, said Steven Long, chief of the Bucks County Rangers.
Eldon Vosseller, 70, of Basking Ridge, N.J., was hurt during take-off on the grass runway of Van Sant Airport in Tinicum Township, Long said.
The hospital has not released Vosseller's condition.
Long said that officials from the Federal Aviation Administration would be visiting the site of the crash on Monday.
The crash happened after noon as Vosseller was being towed in a New Jersey Civil Air Patrol glider by a single-engine fixed-wing plane, Long said.
Vosseller "realized something was wrong," released the towrope, and the glider "pancaked" on the runway after falling, Long said.