NTSB Identification: LAX95LA164.
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Accident occurred Friday, April 07, 1995 in PEORIA, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/31/1995
Aircraft: SCHWEIZER SGS 2-33A, registration: N7758S
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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

THE PILOT REPORTED THAT THIS WAS THE THIRD FLIGHT OF THE DAY IN THE SAME MODEL OF GLIDER FROM PLEASANT VALLEY. HE SAID HE WAS FAMILIAR WITH THE AREA AND WAS OBSERVANT OF THE LOCAL WEATHER CONDITIONS. ACCORDING TO THE PILOT, AFTER BEING TOWED TO 3,000 FEET ABOVE GROUND LEVEL AND THEREAFTER FLYING BETWEEN 15 AND 20 MINUTES, HE ENTERED THE NORMAL LANDING TRAFFIC PATTERN. IMMEDIATELY AFTER TURNING ONTO THE BASE LEG, HE BECAME AWARE THAT THE GLIDER WAS 'LOSING A GREAT DEAL OF ALTITUDE.' THE PILOT FURTHER REPORTED THAT HE 'IMMEDIATELY TURNED AGAIN TO ANGLE SHARPLY TOWARD THE RUNWAY, RATHER THAN FLYING SQUARE BASE AND FINAL LEGS.' WITH INSUFFICIENT ALTITUDE TO RETURN TO THE AIRSTRIP, AND WITH THE GLIDER DESCENDING RAPIDLY, THE PILOT MADE AN OFF-FIELD LANDING ABOUT 1/4 MILE EAST OF RUNWAY 21. THE LOCAL WIND WAS FROM 210 DEGREES, AT 10 KNOTS WITH GUSTS TO 16 KNOTS.

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

the pilot's misjudged evaluation of the weather, and his inadequate compensation for the gusting winds and downdrafts.

Full narrative available

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