NTSB Identification: FTW97LA201.
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Accident occurred Sunday, May 25, 1997 in SANTA FE, NM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/15/1997
Aircraft: Centrair 101C, registration: N991JB
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.
Initially, strong thermal conditions prevailed on the proposed 500 km cross-country glider flight; however, conditions began to weaken, and the pilot amended his destination twice. The conditions continued to deteriorate, and when the glider reached an altitude of 1,500 feet agl, the pilot determined that an off-airport landing was inevitable. He selected a highway as the only available landing area due to numerous trees in the surrounding terrain. The glider touched down, and during rolled-out, the wings settled onto the highway guardrails. At a speed of about 10 mph, the glider's nose turned left, and the fuselage contacted the left guardrail.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: the pilot's improper planning/decison. Factors relating to the accident were: lack of thermal lift, which resulted in an off-airport landing, and the lack of suitable terrain for the landing. Full narrative available
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