Deatsville, AL 16 Year Old Civil Air Patrol Cadet Crashes CAP L23 Super Blanik Glider Into A Power-line in Residential Area, Jul 2017
16-year-old Civil Air Patrol Cadet Pilot Crash Lands Glider in Deatsville
DEATSVILLE, AL (WSFA) - A 16-year-old pilot landed in a residential area while operating a glider Friday, according to the Millbrook Police Department.
The boy, whose name has not been released, was not seriously injured in the incident, according to Chief P.K. Johnson. There were no other reported injuries, and no other property besides the glider was damaged.
"This young man was very fortunate, as were the residents in the area," Johnson said. "I believe had he not quickly assessed his situation and realized that he was not going to make it back to Wetumpka Airport, we very well could be discussing a tragedy."
The force landing happened between the roadway and a residence in the 300 block of Fraley Lane in Deatsville. When the boy lost altitude, he made the decision to attempt a crash landing.
The boy was reportedly flying towards the Wetumpka Airport when he realized he wasn't going to make it. According to a statement he gave police, the boy initially looked for a vacant field to make a safe landing.
After seeing nowhere else to land, the boy told authorities he was forced to use trees to slow his decent into a residential area. During that descent, the glider struck a power line, briefly knocking out power in the area.
"I'm very impressed that the young man was concerned about causing harm to others, especially when you consider that he was in danger of being injured or worse," Johnson said. "That speaks highly of both his training as a pilot and his character."
Johnson said the power line was knocked down onto the road, temporarily blocking it. That road has since been cleared, according to police.
The Millbrook Police and Fire Departments responded just after noon today to Fraley Road after a glider pilot struck some power lines and crashed. The pilot walked away from the incident without serious injury, but was very lucky according to Fire Chief Larry Brown.
Fraley Lane is located off Country Place in an area of Gunnels Road.
"We did not have to transport him and he was very lucky," Chief Brown said.
Aircraft Make: LET
Aircraft Model: L23 SUPER BLANIK
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
From the accident report:
On July 21, 2017, student pilot had a instructor checkout flight, followed by one solo flight prior to this flight. The glider flight was from 08A at 12:07 PM. Tow was planned for 3000? AGL. Solo student pilot was to rendezvous with instructor [in the air?!?] to work on thermalling techniques and return to 08A.
Student released from tow at 3000? AGL on the east side of 165 just north of highway 14. He was in radio contact with instructor who was in another glider thermalling.
When unable to locate instructor’s airplane, he elected to return to airport. The student noticed that he seemed to be sinking quickly. He told his instructor via radio that he was at 1000? and couldn’t find the airport. He was told to find a field.
The student pilot couldn’t find a field. He saw a neighborhood and intended to land on a street between trees and houses. When he knew he was going to crash, he tightened straps and gripped the stick to fly it into the crash. He heard the glider go through treetops, then hit a power line. When he hit the power line, the nose raised and reduced the glider’s speed. The glider tilted to the right and the right wing struck the ground first. The plane came down on the right side of the fuselage. The student heard metal crushing and the canopy breaking.
He sat still for a moment and then undid the restraint restraint system. He fell out to the side of the glider and felt around for his glasses. A neighbor ran out from a house and asked if he was OK. He told him his leg was hurting and the man told his wife to call 911.
He helped the student pilot into his house and onto the couch. Police, paramedics, parent and flight instructor were notified.