NTSB Identification: ATL99LA076.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, April 28, 1999 in GROVELAND, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/22/2000
Aircraft: Schempp-Hirth MINI-NIMBUS, registration: N100GG
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

After the tow release at 1600 feet, the pilot began to search for thermal pockets. Failing to find a thermal, the pilot elected to return to the airport. The pilot stated that he encountered downdrafts which increased his rate of descent to approximately 1000 feet per minute. Realizing that there was not sufficient altitude to return to the airport safely, the pilot elected to make an emergency landing in a nearby field. The glider subsequently collided with a barbed wire fence during the emergency landing, causing substantial damage. The glider sustained damage to both wings and a broken canopy. No mechanical problems with the glider were reported by the pilot.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The pilot's inability to locate a thermal and the in-flight encounter with a down draft.

Full narrative available

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