Aviation safety investigations & reports

Blanik L13, VH-GIX, Brobenah, 6km North of Leeton NSW, 5 January 1984

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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After reaching a height of about 200 feet agl on a winch launch, the glider was observed to enter a shallow dive. The drogue parachute was seen to inflate above the inboard section of the left wing and then trail behind the glider with the tow wire draped over the top of the wing. The glider entered a left turn which developed into a spiral dive. Partial recovery was effected but the aircraft impacted the ground in a nose-down attitude. The pilot was relatively inexperienced and was performing his fourth solo winch launch. During the launch the aircraft exceeded the climb speed limit and the pilot atempted to signal this fact to the winch operator by the normal method, which involves lowering the nose of the aircraft prior to yawing it from side to side. However, the pitch change used was larger than normal, unloading the tow cable and resulting in a "back release". The length of cable between the attachment ring and the drogue parachute was considerably shorter than that recommended and increased the probability of an uncommanded release of the tow cable.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 05 January 1984   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 1654    
Location: Brobenah, 6km North of Leeton    
State: New South Wales   Occurrence type: Miscellaneous - Other  
Release date: 27 June 1985   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: Serious  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Let National Corporation  
Aircraft model Blanik  
Aircraft registration VH-GIX  
Type of operation Gliding  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Brobenah NSW  
Departure time 1654  
Destination Brobenah NSW  
Last update 13 May 2014