Schweizer 2-33A Glider C-GCLE - From the Investigator

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

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

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 was overshooting the extended centerline of the primary landing area. A late turn to final was initiated but the wings were quickly levelled to terminate the turn and the plan to land at the primary landing area was abandoned. Now on an extended base leg, the student pilot continued straight ahead, aimed to land on the apron with the intent to bring the glider to a stop prior to impacting the hangar directly on the flight path, but not knowing if there was sufficient landing distance available.

The student pilot maintained a nose low attitude and made use of full spoilers to descend quickly. The glider impacted the apron in a level attitude, bounced and covered a distance of 233 feet. The glider bounced a second time covering a further distance of 12 feet. After the third contact on the apron, the glider rolled forward onto the grass in front of the hangar. The student pilot initiated a right rudder turn away from the hangar but the glider came to an abrupt stop when it impacted the steel bollard surrounding a fire hydrant located 24 feet from the hangar.  

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 the following afternoon. The glider sustained very serious damage.

The investigation is focusing on human factors, pilot training, flight standards and organizational influence.

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