April 14, Williams, Calif. / Schleicher ASW-20


At 12:45 Pacific time, a Schleicher ASW-20 glider crashed shortly after takeoff during an aero tow at Williams Glider Port, killing the pilot. A witness said that, at liftoff, the glider began a steep climb above the altitude of the tow airplane. The tow pilot cut the line and the glider dove to the ground and crashed. The glider was fitted with quick-disconnect flight control fittings to aid in disassembling the glider for trailer transport. Postaccident examination of the flight control system disclosed that the elevator control push rod was disconnected from the elevator at a quick disconnect fitting in the vertical stabilizer.


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