NTSB Identification: LAX91LA163.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 43655.
Accident occurred Sunday, April 07, 1991 in LAKE COBB, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/30/1992
Aircraft: SCHEMPP-HIRTH VENTUS B/16.6, registration: N81PT
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.

AFTER THE AERO TOW RELEASED THE PILOT SOARED TO MT. ST. HELENA AND THEN ONTO COBB MOUNTAIN WHERE THERMAL LIFT WAS REPORTED. UPON ARRIVING OVER COBB MOUNTAIN HE DID NOT ENCOUNTER ANY THERMAL LIFT. REALIZING A FORCED LANDING WAS IMMINENT THE PILOT SELECTED A OFF-FIELD LANDING AREA WHICH WAS SURROUNDED ON THREE SIDES. THE PILOT REPORTED THAT THE NORTHWEST SIDE OF THE FIELD WAS UNOBSTRUCTED EXCEPT FOR A SMALL WIRE FENCE WHICH POSED NO PROBLEM FOR THE OFF-FIELD LANDING. THE PILOT FAILED TO SEE A SMALL TRANSMISSION WIRE WHICH CROSSED THE FINAL APPROACH COURSE ABOUT 25 FEET ABOVE GROUND LEVEL. THE GLIDER STRUCK THE WIRE WHICH CAUSED THE GLIDER TO NOSE DOWN ABOUT 40 DEGREES AND STRIKE THE GROUND IN A WINGS LEVEL ATTITUDE.

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

THAT THE PILOT'S VISUAL LOOKOUT WAS IMPROPER. CONTRIBUTING TO THIS ACCIDENT WAS THE UNMARKED TRANSMISSION WIRE.

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