NTSB Identification: SEA00LA085.
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Accident occurred Saturday, May 06, 2000 in SEASIDE, OR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/09/2001
Aircraft: Schweizer SGS 1-35, registration: N34173
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.

While en route on the west side of Oregon's Coastal Range, the glider pilot reached a point where he felt he could not be assured of successfully continuing on his planned route. He therefore turned toward Seaside, Oregon, hoping to land at the Seaside Airport. But soon after making the turn, the aircraft encountered significant sink. Once the pilot realized that he was not going to make it to the airport, he started looking for a safe place to land out, but he was not able to find one. When he was about three miles from the airport, he determined he could not proceed much further, so he elected to make a forced landing in a group of small deciduous trees. Although he was not injured, the aircraft sustained substantial damage when it collided with the trees.

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

The pilot's improper decision to continue to a point where he could not be assured of reaching a safe landing-out site if he encountered an area of significant sink after departing his planned route of flight. Factors include downdrafts, terrain that contained no suitable landing sites, and trees at the location where the pilot found it necessary to execute a forced landing.

Full narrative available

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