Accident to the Schempp Hirth Arcus M registered D-KKOY on 30/07/2019 at Sisteron-Thèze aerodrome

Investigation progression Closed
Progress: 100%

This is a courtesy translation by the BEA of the Report on the Safety Investigation. As accurate as the translation may be, the original text in French is the work of reference.

Note: The following information is principally taken from the pilot’s statement. This information has not been independently validated by the BEA.

1 - History of the flight

The pilot, accompanied by a passenger, wished to carry out a self-launched take-off from runway 36[1]. During the take-off run, thinking that the speed was insufficient for a safe take-off, the pilot decided to abort it. Arriving at the end of the runway, he turned around. After the glider came to a complete stop, the pilot and the passenger detected a burning smell. They evacuated the glider and noticed that a fire had broken out under the fuselage. They tried to extinguish the fire and then to move the glider, but were unable to do so. The glider was completely destroyed by the fire.

2 - Additional information

2.1 Pilot information

On the day of the accident, the pilot held a glider pilot licence obtained in 1968 with a glider instructor rating. He had logged approximately 5,618 flight hours, of which 360 hours on the Arcus M. He had flown 32 hours in the previous three months, of which seven hours in the month before the accident. None of these seven hours were flown on the Arcus M.

2.2 Glider information

The glider built in 2013 was equipped with a disc brake system. The fire might have started at the brake disc which had become hot during the accelerate-stop (see Figure 1 : braking system of the SCHEMPP HIRTH - ARCUS M, source: manufacturer).

2.3 Weather information

Weather records at 15:00 indicated visibility greater than 10 km, calm winds and a temperature of 33°C.

[1]   Unpaved runway 18/36 of 1,170 x 100 m.



BEA2019 0447 Figure 1