NTSB Identification: LAX00LA009.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, October 13, 1999 in WAIALUA, HI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/08/2001
Aircraft: Schweizer SGS-2-33A, registration: N17914
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.
The pilot made an off-airport landing due to loss of lift and collided with ground obstructions on the roll out. The pilot stated that no weather facilities are located at the uncontrolled field, other than windsocks that are located at each end, and at midfield. He stated that the preflight weather briefing forecast was for winds from the northeast consistent with the prevailing northeast trade winds. The pilot indicated that he also received local weather information from other glider pilots who had been flying prior to his departure. He said that at 2,000 feet agl he released the glider from the tow plane and began to lose altitude instead of gaining altitude as he expected. He turned to the north, away from a ridge where a strong sink rate had been reported, and proceeded to the practice area. Shortly thereafter, he realized that strong southwesterly winds were creating a strong sink rate condition and he turned toward the airport. When it became apparent that he had insufficient altitude to reach the airport he elected to make an off field landing on a road in an abandoned sugar cane plantation. During the landing rollout the left wing contacted a dirt berm; the glider turned 180 degrees from the initial landing direction and came to rest in a ditch.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's delay in recognizing the onset of a wind direction change resulting in the downward flow of wind on the leeward side of the mountain (strong sink rate). Full narrative available
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