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Two Dead After Glider Plane Crash In Jacumba

Craig McClellan

On Saturday, an Allstar PZL glider plane crashed near the Jacumba Airport, killing both occupants. According to witnesses, the plane was taking off when its towline was released early, causing the glider to decelerate and crash into the ground.

The glider was owned by the Associated Glider Clubs of Southern California (AGCSC) and was a new type of aircraft developed in 2011. Like other gliders, the Allstar PZL glider relied on thermals to keep it in the air. Usually, the tow cables on these planes are released at 1,200 feet. In the Jacumba plane's case. the tow cable was released sometime between 100 and 300 feet.

While the early release likely contributed to the accident, it is too soon to know whether pilot error, poor plane manufacturing, poor construction or a defective winch and cable assembly is to blame.

Once the investigation is complete, the family of those injured in the glider pilot accident may be able to bring personal injury lawsuits against any responsible parties to recover compensation for their loved one's medical bills, funeral expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, and other damages resulting from the accident.

Glider plane accidents are not uncommon. Unlike car accidents, most glider pilots are not at risk of dying from drunk driving, teenage driving or other common forms of driver negligence. Instead, the causes of glider accidents tend to be related to launching (20 percent of fatal gliding accidents) and landing (65 percent of fatal gliding accidents). Poor weather conditions also play a factor in 20 percent of non-injury crashes.

Glider planes are not the only type of plane with a significant fatality rate. Small plane accidents are much more common than commercial plane crashes. Read more by visiting our page on private aviation accidents.

Source: San Diego 7, " 2 Killed in Glider Plane Crash: FAA," Monica Garske, Lea Sutton, July 1, 2013