NTSB Identification: NYC95LA156.
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Accident occurred Sunday, July 09, 1995 in ELMIRA, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/27/1996
Aircraft: SCHWEIZER S-2-33A, registration: N3622X
Injuries: 1 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.

The student pilot was towed aloft in a glider and released at 2500 feet above the ground. During the student's attempts to find thermals, the altitude varied between 1700 and 2200 feet above the ground. When the glider descended to 1500 feet, the student decided to return to the departure airport. During the return, the student thought he acquired a thermal and circled. The glider lost additional altitude and the student continued his return to the airport. At 1100 feet above the ground, the student determined that he was not going to make it to the airport, and looked for a suitable field in which to land. The student elected to land the glider in trees. The pilot had 5 hours of solo time.

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

The pilot's delayed decision to return to the departure airport, which resulted in insufficient gliding altitude, and the subsequent off airport landing in the trees.

Full narrative available

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