Home Forums Safety Incident Report: PG Crash at Marshall, July 31, 2020

  • Author
  • #9806
    David Webb
    General Member

    Incident Summary

    On July 31st @ approximately 16:00, PG pilot with a few flights on a new-to-the-pilot low-B wing and after a long time away from flying experienced a significant asymmetric collapse at approximately 100′ AGL. Pilot entered a nose-down spiral and impacted terrain after one revolution in the vicinity of Marshall Peak Launch. Pilot’s spouse witnessed event and called emergency services and another pilot to assist.


    Weather was hot and winds were moderate; conditions reported as thermic and turbulent. At 16:00, Marshall Peak Launch weather station reported winds approximately 14mph with gusts of 21mph.

    Emergency or Medical Response

    Emergency services were called and pilot was airlifted out from Marshall Peak Launch. Helicopter did not stop at AJX.


    Significant injuries reported but pilot’s condition after treatment reported as OK.

    Pilots Involved

    Unrated, non-member PG pilot flying 2013 Icaro Instinct after long time away from flying.

    Root Cause

    Pilot experienced an unrecoverable collapse and spiral too close to terrain.

    Proximate Cause

    Pilot may have flown in conditions that were too strong for either current skill level or level of currency.

    Corrective Action

    Pilot recommended to refresh skills after long time away in smoother/easier conditions. Pilot must also secure USHPA and CSS membership, in addition to an adequate USHPA rating before flying at any CSS site. Recommended that all pilots increase distance from terrain in thermic conditions.

    Gary Anderson
    General Member

    Excellent report but I would reverse the root and proximate cause:

    ROOT CAUSE: Low hour pilot flying in advanced conditions

    • 4:00 pm in July & August is MID DAY
    • 14 mph with with gusts to 21 mph ARE ADVANCED CONDITIONS
    • Low hour pilots don’t have the experience to know that they are SLAVE TO THE WEATHER
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