NTSB Identification: SEA00LA077.
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Accident occurred Saturday, April 22, 2000 in HOOD RIVER, OR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/09/2001
Aircraft: PZL-Bielsko JANTAR 2A, registration: N272AS
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Upon arrival at the turf airstrip, the glider pilot noticed that the grass on the runway was significantly longer than normal, especially along the sides of the runway surface. During his first takeoff attempt, the right wing of his glider contacted the long grass, and it began to veer sharply to the right. At that point, the pilot released from the tow plane, and tried to maintain directional control as the glider came to a stop. Although he attempted to keep the aircraft aligned with the runway, the aircraft slid off the right side off the runway surface. After inspecting the glider for damage, and finding none, he attempted a second takeoff, which was successful. Upon returning to the airport after soaring for approximately four hours, the pilot elected to land on the same grass runway he had departed from, instead of on the adjacent paved runway. Although the touchdown was successful, at the very beginning of the landing roll, the wing again began contacting the long grass. Although the pilot tried to keep the aircraft tracking straight down the runway, the resistance of the grass pulling on the wing resulted in the aircraft turning sideways and sliding along the runway surface. As the aircraft slid, the gear collapsed and the fuselage fractured just aft of the wing trailing edge.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain directional control of the glider after its wing came in contact with long grass growing on the runway surface. Factors include the pilot's improper decision to attempt a landing on a runway with known directional control hazards, and long grass present on the runway surface.

Full narrative available

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