|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||airport : zzz.airport|
|Altitude||agl single value : 0|
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Sail Plane|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 91|
|Flight Phase||climbout : initial|
landing : roll
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : private|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 51|
flight time total : 239
flight time type : 13
|Anomaly||aircraft equipment problem : critical|
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||flight crew : landed in emergency condition|
|Problem Areas||Flight Crew Human Performance|
Maintenance Human Performance
I was plting a blanik L33 belonging to the soaring club of which I am a member. A normal aerotow was initiated under clear skies with winds as variable at 4 KTS. After a normal initial climb out, the tow-plane and L33 in tow turned to a left crosswind departing from ZZZ1 '02' grass. At approximately 400 ft AGL, the canopy of the L33 blew open with a resultant right yawing of the glider. I managed to get the canopy closed and recovered in the proper high aerotow position behind the towplane, a citabria scout. Attempts to secure the canopy locking mechanism were unsuccessful during the remainder of a normal tow to 3000 ft AGL and during the subsequent short flight time prior to entering the landing pattern for the paved runway 20. Traffic at the time was not a factor. I was able to keep the canopy closed with my left hand on the locking handle, however, I could not remove it to actuate the spoilers. Realizing that not being able to utilize the spoilers would require a longer, flatter approach, I entered the landing pattern at a normal 1000 ft AGL and extended my base and subsequent final approach legs to compensate partially. My plan was to execute a forward slip to dispel altitude, however, found that maneuver to be minimally effective. My altitude on final approach segment was higher than I desired and knowing I had to get the main landing wheel on the pavement for adequate braking, I decreased my angle of attack resulting in a buildup of airspeed. Once I was established in a landing profile above the paved runway I had used approximately 1/3 of the 5000 ft length. In attempting to put the aircraft main wheel on the pavement, I believe the forward undercarriage may have touched the pavement initially and with the higher-than-normal airspeed caused a flare. The flare resulted in the tail of the glider contacting the pavement. I recovered from the flare to a normal landing confign and stopped without further incident using maximal braking effort with the hand actuated brake on the stick. Throughout I felt I had to control the canopy opened which continued to lift open even during final. My concern was if the canopy opened abruptly, it could depart the airframe and potentially damage the tail section compromising aircraft control. Maintaining closure of the canopy with my left hand prevented my actuating the spoilers. Upon accessing the craft postflt, it was discovered that the tail contacting the pavement resulted in some wrinkling of the fuselage along the top and side midsections. No injuries were sustained. The aircraft has been hangared and grounded subject to further assessment.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: THE CANOPY OF A BLANIK L33 GLIDER BECAME UNSECURED INFLT. THE PLT HELD THE CANOPY CLOSED WITH ONE HAND, WHILE FLYING WITH OTHER. HIS APCH BECAME UNSTABILIZED BECAUSE HE COULD NOT OPERATE THE SPOILERS SINGLE HANDEDLY AND SUBSEQUENTLY THE AIRFRAME WAS DAMAGED ON LNDG.
Narrative: I WAS PLTING A BLANIK L33 BELONGING TO THE SOARING CLUB OF WHICH I AM A MEMBER. A NORMAL AEROTOW WAS INITIATED UNDER CLR SKIES WITH WINDS AS VARIABLE AT 4 KTS. AFTER A NORMAL INITIAL CLBOUT, THE TOW-PLANE AND L33 IN TOW TURNED TO A L XWIND DEPARTING FROM ZZZ1 '02' GRASS. AT APPROX 400 FT AGL, THE CANOPY OF THE L33 BLEW OPEN WITH A RESULTANT R YAWING OF THE GLIDER. I MANAGED TO GET THE CANOPY CLOSED AND RECOVERED IN THE PROPER HIGH AEROTOW POS BEHIND THE TOWPLANE, A CITABRIA SCOUT. ATTEMPTS TO SECURE THE CANOPY LOCKING MECHANISM WERE UNSUCCESSFUL DURING THE REMAINDER OF A NORMAL TOW TO 3000 FT AGL AND DURING THE SUBSEQUENT SHORT FLT TIME PRIOR TO ENTERING THE LNDG PATTERN FOR THE PAVED RWY 20. TFC AT THE TIME WAS NOT A FACTOR. I WAS ABLE TO KEEP THE CANOPY CLOSED WITH MY L HAND ON THE LOCKING HANDLE, HOWEVER, I COULD NOT REMOVE IT TO ACTUATE THE SPOILERS. REALIZING THAT NOT BEING ABLE TO UTILIZE THE SPOILERS WOULD REQUIRE A LONGER, FLATTER APCH, I ENTERED THE LNDG PATTERN AT A NORMAL 1000 FT AGL AND EXTENDED MY BASE AND SUBSEQUENT FINAL APCH LEGS TO COMPENSATE PARTIALLY. MY PLAN WAS TO EXECUTE A FORWARD SLIP TO DISPEL ALT, HOWEVER, FOUND THAT MANEUVER TO BE MINIMALLY EFFECTIVE. MY ALT ON FINAL APCH SEGMENT WAS HIGHER THAN I DESIRED AND KNOWING I HAD TO GET THE MAIN LNDG WHEEL ON THE PAVEMENT FOR ADEQUATE BRAKING, I DECREASED MY ANGLE OF ATTACK RESULTING IN A BUILDUP OF AIRSPD. ONCE I WAS ESTABLISHED IN A LNDG PROFILE ABOVE THE PAVED RWY I HAD USED APPROX 1/3 OF THE 5000 FT LENGTH. IN ATTEMPTING TO PUT THE ACFT MAIN WHEEL ON THE PAVEMENT, I BELIEVE THE FORWARD UNDERCARRIAGE MAY HAVE TOUCHED THE PAVEMENT INITIALLY AND WITH THE HIGHER-THAN-NORMAL AIRSPD CAUSED A FLARE. THE FLARE RESULTED IN THE TAIL OF THE GLIDER CONTACTING THE PAVEMENT. I RECOVERED FROM THE FLARE TO A NORMAL LNDG CONFIGN AND STOPPED WITHOUT FURTHER INCIDENT USING MAXIMAL BRAKING EFFORT WITH THE HAND ACTUATED BRAKE ON THE STICK. THROUGHOUT I FELT I HAD TO CTL THE CANOPY OPENED WHICH CONTINUED TO LIFT OPEN EVEN DURING FINAL. MY CONCERN WAS IF THE CANOPY OPENED ABRUPTLY, IT COULD DEPART THE AIRFRAME AND POTENTIALLY DAMAGE THE TAIL SECTION COMPROMISING ACFT CTL. MAINTAINING CLOSURE OF THE CANOPY WITH MY L HAND PREVENTED MY ACTUATING THE SPOILERS. UPON ACCESSING THE CRAFT POSTFLT, IT WAS DISCOVERED THAT THE TAIL CONTACTING THE PAVEMENT RESULTED IN SOME WRINKLING OF THE FUSELAGE ALONG THE TOP AND SIDE MIDSECTIONS. NO INJURIES WERE SUSTAINED. THE ACFT HAS BEEN HANGARED AND GNDED SUBJECT TO FURTHER ASSESSMENT.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of July 2007 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.