Cat. 3 investigation report: report concerning an occurrence with limited consequences, based on one or more statements not independently validated by the BEA.
This is a courtesy translation by the BEA of the Final Report on the Safety Investigation published in October 2020. As accurate as the translation may be, the original text in French is the work of reference.
Note: the following information is principally based on statements and the viewing of the take-off video. This information has not been independently validated by the BEA.
1 - History of the flight
The student pilot made a winch take-off from runway 33 of Chambéry Challes-les-Eaux aerodrome. During the climb, the pitch attitude did not continuously increase. The glider banked and turned to the left when it was at a height of about 50 m. The cable came away. The glider continued its sideslip turn while gaining speed. The pilot regained control of the glider, belatedly extended the speed brakes and landed counter QFU, beyond the end of the runway. The glider made a ground loop and the tail broke off.
2 - Additional information
2.1 Weather information
The weather conditions recorded on the aerodrome at the time of the accident were as follows:
- Wind from the west at about 10 kt;
- Mid-level broken clouds.
2.2 Pilot's experience
The 55-year-old student pilot began his training in April 2016. He had logged 83 flight hours, including 7.5 hours in supervised solo flight (first solo flight in July 2019). In the previous three months, he had completed nine flights, including four dual and five supervised solo flights (two on the ASK13 and three on the ASK18). All of the dual flights were performed on a two-seat ASK13 glider. The majority of the take-offs had been winch take-offs.
The student pilot indicated that during the previous winch take-off, which he had found very "rough", the cable had detached prematurely at a height of about
200 m and that he had made an aerodrome circuit to return to land on the aerodrome. He specified that he spoke about it to the assistant chief pilot who then asked the operator of the winch to be more "gentle" for the next winch take-off.
The student pilot explained that on the second winch take-off, he noted a speed of 80 km/h when the glider took off. He did not want to abort the take-off but tried to enter a climb attitude. The glider then banked to the left and he heard the cable come away as he was still very low, at a height of a few dozen meters. He said that when he regained control of the glider, he was counter QFU. He heard the instruction "go straight ahead" on the radio. He specified that he did not think of extending the speed brakes immediately and that he landed with a high speed.
The student pilot said that the ASK18 is a lighter single-seat glider than the ASK13, and that the seat and stick position in the single-seat is slightly different from the ASK13, which probably changed his reference points.
 The glider’s hook is equipped with a safety device that releases the cable if the angle between the glider and the cable becomes too great.
 The video recording shows that the pilot entered a much steeper pitch attitude than the recommended climb attitude in the second segment. This excessive pitch attitude was probably responsible for the activation of the hook's rear safety device and the premature release of the cable.