NTSB Identification: LAX93LA324.
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Accident occurred Sunday, August 15, 1993 in WICKENBURG, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/26/1994
Aircraft: SCHWEIZER 1-35C, registration: N2562H
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.

Several gliders were participating in an 80 mile round trip endurance competition and many of the pilots reported turning back early and landing at the gliderport, while others stated that they were forced to make off airport landings in the desert due to unfavorable conditions. The pilot noted that a good altitude margin was maintained during the flight outbound toward the goal until reaching an area about 12 miles west of Wickenburg. The pilot began to experience heavy sink and he decided to turn around and head for the Wickenburg airport. The pilot stated that his altitude continued to deteriorate to the point where the airport at Wickenburg was no longer reachable and an off airport landing in the desert was the only option. The pilot said he found a suitable landing area but had to maneuver on final approach to avoid a set of power lines. The pilot said that during the maneuver the glider stalled, entered a spin to the right and impacted nose first.

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

the pilot's failure to maintain an adequate airspeed margin while maneuvering to land, resulting in an inadvertent stall/spin.

Full narrative available

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