NTSB Identification: LAX04LA203
On May 8, 2004, at 1600 Pacific daylight time, a Schleicher ASW-20, N126PS, collided with terrain during takeoff at Air Sailing Gliderport, which was 21 miles north of Reno, Nevada. The private pilot/owner was operating the glider on a local flight under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. The pilot was fatally injured, and the glider was destroyed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.
Witnesses reported that the tow line that attached the glider to the tow plane separated just after takeoff, about 300 feet above ground level (agl). The glider attempted to return to the runway, but entered a steep dive and impacted the ground. A Federal Aviation Administration inspector examined the wreckage, and reported that all of the control linkages appeared to be connected. Witnesses told him that the pilot and an assistant performed control checks on the gilder prior to the flight.