NTSB Identification: NYC01LA020.
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Accident occurred Saturday, October 21, 2000 in SHIRLEY, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/08/2001
Aircraft: Schweizer SGS 2-33A, registration: N2055T
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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

The glider was approximately 2.5 miles south of the airport. The pilot reported that he began to encounter downdrafts, and initially flew back toward the airport at 63 mph. About 2,000 feet agl, and 1.5 miles south of the airport, the pilot observed a descent rate indication of approximately 600 fpm. The pilot thought that he would not reach the airport, and elected to attempt an off airport landing. The manufacturer's published two-place best glide speed was 50 mph. That speed resulted in a lift to drag ratio of 23-1, which corresponded to a glide of approximately 8 miles from 2,000 feet. Review of weather reports revealed the glider would have had a left quartering tailwind flying from south to north.

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

The pilot's improper in-flight decision to abort the glide toward the airport. A factor was the pilot's failure to comply with the published best glide speed.

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