Wednesday, 21 February 2024

NTSB official offers update on investigation into glider crash

MIDDLETOWN – The investigation into a mid-air collision that claimed the lives of two pilots continued on Sunday.

The crash – between a Schleicher ASW 27 glider and a Piper PA 25 tow plane – occurred on Saturday at around 11 a.m. at Crazy Creek Air Adventures in Middletown, as Lake County News has reported.

On Sunday, Eliott Simpson, an aviation accident investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board, was on the scene in Middletown, examining the wreckage of the two aircraft.

He said the Federal Aviation Administration also had been on scene earlier in the day.

Based on an evaluation of the wreckage, Simpson said no equipment appeared to be missing from the aircraft.

“Both aircraft appear to be in working order,” said Simpson, noting that such a determination is merely preliminary.

He explained that, based on the investigation so far, it appears that the glider and the tow plane both were approaching the same runway from different directions – the glider coming from the north, with the tow plane on the southern side.

“Witnesses stated that they both appeared to turn toward the runway at the same time,” he said.

Simpson said he will have a preliminary report on the crash prepared within 10 days, but a final report will require about six months of investigation.

He said the report will then go to the full safety board for a final determination.

Simpson said they see glider crashes but “not an excessive amount.”

On Sunday Simpson worked the investigation from the NTSB side alone on Sunday, a situation which he said isn't uncommon, since the agency only has 44 investigators to cover the entire United States.

He said the release of the crash victims' names will be up to the Lake County Sheriff's Office. Sheriff's officials could not be reached Sunday for official confirmation of the pilots' names.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Follow Lake County News on Twitter at and on Facebook at .

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