NTSB Identification: ATL97LA052.
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Accident occurred Saturday, March 22, 1997 in LANCASTER, SC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/15/1997
Aircraft: Burkhart Grob G-103-TWIN II, registration: N54553
Injuries: 1 Minor,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.

After a normal flight, the pilot maneuvered the glider for landing at a gliderport. According to him, the pattern entry was normal, but his turn onto final approach was late, which made the glider low and slow to the 4,000 foot long runway. The pilot stated he 'landed' in 50 foot tall trees, 200 feet short of the runway. Witnesses indicated the glider's spoilers were extended, while on final approach. Damage to the glider also indicated that the spoilers were not retracted at the time of collision with the trees. The pilot did not recall the spoiler's position. He had flown three launches on the previous day with an instructor, but he had not flown during the winter, prior to that. Also, he had only about 3 hours of flight time in this make and model of glider.

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

the pilot's improper use of the spoilers, while approaching to land, which allowed the glider to get low on final approach and strike trees. The pilot's lack of recent flying experience and lack of experience in the make and model of glider were related factors.

Full narrative available

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