NTSB Identification: LAX95LA184.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, May 10, 1995 in HONOLULU, HI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/06/1995
Aircraft: SCHWEIZER SGS 2-33A, registration: N7768S
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 BEING TOWED TO AN ALTITUDE OF 1,000 FEET MSL, THE PILOT INITIALLY CLIMBED AN ADDITIONAL 100 FEET. ABOUT 5 MINUTES LATER HE ENCOUNTERED AN AREA WHICH WAS NOT GENERATING ANY LIFT AND DECIDED TO TURN BACK TOWARD THE AIRPORT. WHILE FLYING AN UPWIND COURSE, WHICH WAS IN CLOSE PROXIMITY AND NEARLY PARALLEL TO THE NORTH SIDE OF A NEARBY RIDGE LINE, THE GLIDER ENCOUNTERED AN UNEXPECTED DOWNDRAFT. UNABLE TO MANEUVER OUT OF THE CONDITION, THE GLIDER WAS FORCED DOWN, IMPACTING STEEP, ROCKY TERRAIN. THE PILOT REPORTED THAT THE PREVAILING WINDS AT THE ACCIDENT SITE WERE GUSTING FROM THE SOUTHEAST.

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

the pilot's attempted flight in close proximity to terrain under gusty wind conditions at an inadequate terrain clearance altitude.

Full narrative available

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