NTSB Identification: IAD96LA142.
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Accident occurred Sunday, September 01, 1996 in ELMIRA, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/31/1998
Aircraft: Schweizer SGS-1-26E, registration: N1142S
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 she had made two successful landings in the glider, and was on the third solo flight. According to the pilot, she was planning to land on runway 16, but decided at the last minute to change runways. She stated that the altitude and airspeed was inadequate to complete the landing on the new runway. She reported that she skidded the glider with the rudder to avoid banking too steeply and the combination initiated a stall and spin to the left. According to an FAA inspector, this was the pilot's third flight in this glider. The pilot reported that there was no mechanical malfunction, and the accident could have been prevented if she maintained a proper pattern airspeed, not change runways at the last minute, and not use a forward slip too low on final approach with the spoilers closed.

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

the pilot's failure to maintain adequate altitude and airspeed during the landing approach, resulting in a stall/spin and subsequent encounter with an embankment.

Full narrative available

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