Aircraft Incident/Accident Report


Durango, Colorado 81301
Thursday, June 13, 1991 11:40 MDT

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NTSB Narrative Summary Released at Completion of Accident
THE PILOT TOLD WITNESSES HE WAS UNFAMILIAR WITH THE AREA, HAD LIMITED MOUNTAIN FLYING EXPEREINCE, WAS STILL UNCOMFORTABLE FLYING HIS 3-YEAR OLD HIGH-PERFORMANCE SAILPLANE, AND NEEDED TO BE MORE AGGRESSIVE IN HIS FLYING TECHNIQUE. ON THE DAY OF THE ACCIDENT, THE PILOT APPEARED NEVOUS AND APPREHENSIVE. HE INSTRUCTED THE TOW PILOT TO FLY NORTH TOWARDS MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN AND A DISTANT THUNDERSTORM. THE PILOT RELEASED HIMSELF AT 8800 FT MSL, ABOUT 200-300 FT BELOW THE CREST OF THE RIDGE. THE TOW PILOT SAID SOARING CONDITIONS IN THAT AREA WERE 'POOR WITH LITTLE LIFT.' WHEN THE SAILPLANE FAILED TO RETURN. A SEARCH WAS INITIATED. THE SAILPLANE HAD STRUCK ASPEN TREES AND CRASHED WITHIN 1.5 MILES OF THE RELASE POINT.
NTSB Probable Cause Narrative
THE ABSENCE OF THERMAL LIFT, THE PILOT'S APPREHENSION, AND HIS LACK OF FAMILIARITY WITH THE GEOGRAPHIC AREA.
Event Information
Type of EventAccident 
Event Date6/13/1991 
Event Day of the WeekThursday 
Time of Event1140 
Event Time ZoneMountain Daylight Time 
Event CityDURANGO  
Event StateCOLORADO 
Event Country-- 
Zipcode of the event site81301  
Event Date Year1991 
Event Date Month
MidAir Collision IndicatorNo 
On Ground Collision occurred ?No 
Event Location Latitude  
Event Location Longitude  
Event Location Airport  
Event Location Nearest Airport ID  
Indicates whether the acc/inc occurred off or on an airportOff Airport/Airstrip 
Distance from airport in statute miles
Degrees magnetic from airport
Airport Elevation
Weather Briefing CompletenessUnknown 
Investigator's weather sourceWitness 
Time of the weather observation0  
Direction of event from weather observation facility (degrees)
Weather Observation Facility ID  
Elevation of weather observation facility
Distance of event from weather observation facility (units?)
Time Zone of the weather observation  
Lighting ConditionsDay 
Lowest Ceiling Height
Lowest Non-Ceiling Height10000 
Sky/Lowest/Cloud ConditionsScattered 
Sky Condition for Lowest CeilingNone 
Visibility Runway Visual Range (Feet)
Visibility Runway Visual Value (Statute Miles)
Visibility (Statute Miles) 10 
Air Temperature at event time (in degrees celsius)15 
Dew Point at event time (in degress fahrenheit)
Wind Direction (degrees magnetic)220 
Variable Wind IndicatorUnknown 
Wind Speed (knots)
Wind Velocity Indicator Unknown 
Wind Gust IndicatorUnknown 
Wind Gust (knots)
Altimeter Setting at event time (in. Hg) 30 
Density Altitude (feet)7905 
Intensity of PrecipitationUnknown 
METAR weather report -- 
Event Highest InjuryFatal 
On Ground, Fatal Injuries
On Ground, Minor Injuries
On Ground, Serious Injuries
Injury Total Fatal
Injury Total Minor-- 
Injury Total None-- 
Injury Total Serious-- 
Injury Total All
Investigating AgencyNTSB 
NTSB Docket Number (internal use)1703 
NTSB Notification Source-- 
NTSB Notification Date-- 
NTSB Notification Time
Fiche Number and/or location -used to find docket information45580 
Date of most recent change to recordDec 12 2000 10:19AM 
User who most recently changed recorddbo  
Basic weather conditionsVisual Meteorological Cond 
FAA District Office-- 
Aircraft Involved
Aircraft #1
Aircraft Registration NumberN418CH 
NTSB NumberDEN91FA083  
Missing Aircraft Indicator
Federal Aviation Reg. PartPart 91: General Aviation 
Type of Flight Plan filedNone 
Flight plan Was Activated?-- 
DamageDestroyed 
Aircraft FireNone 
Aircraft ExplosionNone 
Aircraft Manufacturer's Full NameSCHEMPP-HIRTH  
Aircraft ModelVENTUS C  
Aircraft Series IdentifierVENTUS C  
Aircraft Serial Number387  
Certified Max Gross Weight1157 
Aircraft CategoryGlider 
Aircraft Registration ClassU.S. Registered/U.S. Soil 
Aircraft is a homebuilt?No 
Flight Crew Seats-- 
Cabin Crew Seats-- 
Passenger Seats-- 
Total number of seats on the aircraft
Number of Engines
Fixed gear or retractable gearFixed 
Aircraft, Type of Last InspectionAnnual 
Date of Last InspectionApr 7 1991 12:00AM 
Airframe hours since last inspection
Airframe Hours74 
ELT InstalledNo 
ELT ActivatedNo 
ELT Aided Location of Event SiteNo 
ELT Type-- 
Aircraft Owner NameCHARLES C. HENNING  
Aircraft Owner Street Address320 N. HILLSIDE  
Aircraft Owner CityWICHITA  
Aircraft Owner StateKS 
Aircraft Owner Country  
Aircraft Owner Zipcode67214  
Operator is an individual?-- 
Operator NameCHARLES C. HENNING  
Operator Same as Owner?Yes 
Operator Is Doing Business As-- 
Operator Address Same as Owner?No 
Operator Street Address7401 PAGENT  
Operator CityWICHITA  
Operator StateKS 
Operator Country  
Operator Zip code67214  
Operator Code  
Owner has at least one certificateNone 
Other Operator of large aircraft?No 
Certified for Part 133 or 137 OperationUnknown 
Operator Certificate Number-- 
Indicates whether an air carrier operation was scheduled or not-- 
Indicates Domestic or International Flight-- 
Operator carrying Pax/Cargo/Mail-- 
Type of Flying (Per_Bus / Primary)Personal 
Second Pilot on BoardNo 
Departure Point Same as EventNo 
Departure Airport CodeCD82 
Departure CityDURANGO  
Departure StateCO 
Departure Country  
Departure Time1115 
Departure Time ZoneMDT 
Destination Same as Local Fltdest & departure same, accident can occur anywhere 
Destination Airport Code  
Destination City  
Destination State  
Destination Country  
Specific Phase of FlightDescent 
Report sent to ICAO?-- 
Evacuation occurred-- 
Date of most recent change to recordJan 2 2001 10:35AM 
User who most recently changed recorddbo  
Since inspection or accident-- 
Event Location Runway Number and Location0  
Runway Length
Runway Width
Sight Seeing flightNo 
Air Medical FlightNo 
Medical Flight--