NTSB Identification: FTW98LA264.
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Accident occurred Sunday, June 14, 1998 in HEMPSTEAD, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/16/2001
Aircraft: Let BLANIK L-13, registration: N73534
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.

When the glider was adjacent to the intended touch down point, the pilot 'took out some of the spoilers to decrease sink [rate].' After initiating a left turn to base leg he realized that the 'altitude was still much too great and attempted to deploy full spoilers.' Observers on the ground noted that 'no spoilers were deployed; rather, the flaps appeared to have been extended instead.' On final approach, the pilot lowered the nose to try and touch down on the runway, and the aircraft 'porpoised' due to the 'excessive' speed. Approximately 50 feet from the departure end of the runway and less than 15 feet agl, the pilot 'lifted the plane off the ground to avoid hitting the property fence and crossing Highway 290.' He flew the glider over the highway and forced it to the ground in a dirt parking lot. The glider came to a stop after hitting a metal building. The glider also hit a neutral power line during the landing to the parking lot. In the Blanik L-13, the handle for the spoilers is located directly underneath the handle used to deploy the flaps. The pilot stated that 'in concentrating on other factors during landing, it appears that I pulled the wrong lever.' The private pilot rated student had 7 hours total glider time.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain the proper rate of descent. Factor were the pilot's inadvertent lowering of the flaps instead of extending the spoilers, and his lack of experience in gliders.

Full narrative available

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