NTSB Identification: LAX95LA106.
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Accident occurred Saturday, February 11, 1995 in FORT HUACHUCA, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/31/1995
Aircraft: Burkhart Grob TWIN ASTIR, registration: N333BH
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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, THE GLIDER PILOT HAD DIFFICULTY LOCATING THERMALS FOR LIFT. HE SAW A FIELD AND PROCEEDED TO MANEUVER FOR AN OFF-AIRPORT LANDING. DURING THE APPROACH PHASE, HE SAW POWER LINES PERPENDICULAR TO THE INTENDED LANDING DIRECTION, SO HE MANEUVERED TO LAND PARALLEL TO THE POWER LINES. AS HE CONTINUED THE APPROACH, WHICH WAS OVER THE LEE SIDE OF SOME HILLS, THE GLIDER ENCOUNTERED AN INCREASE IN SINK RATE AND A DECREASE IN AIRSPEED. THE PILOT ATTEMPTED TO GAIN ENERGY AND TO CLEAR OBSTACLES; HOWEVER, THE LEFT WINGTIP COLLIDED WITH A TREE AND THE GLIDER CRASH LANDED.

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

IMPROPER IN-FLIGHT PLANNING/DECISION BY THE PILOT, WHICH RESULTED IN HIS FAILURE TO REMAIN CLEAR OF TREE(S) DURING AN OFF-AIRPORT LANDING. FACTORS RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WERE: LACK OF THERMAL LIFT, AND HIGH OBSTRUCTIONS IN THE OFF-AIRPORT LANDING AREA.

Full narrative available

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