NTSB Identification: LAX01LA038.
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Accident occurred Saturday, November 11, 2000 in LAKE ELSINORE, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/02/2002
Aircraft: Schweizer SGS 1-36, registration: N3621R
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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

After soaring for about 1 hour, the student pilot headed back to the departure airstrip for landing. Approaching the airstrip, the student misread his altimeter by 800 to 1,000 feet and initiated a circle to lose altitude. Midway through the turn the student realized his error and noted that he was, in fact, low whereupon he headed directly back toward the airstrip. The glider continued to lose lift, and the student did not initiate emergency procedures to make an off-site landing in nearby available fields. While attempting to stretch the glide, the glider stalled and collided with tree branches. Thereafter, it impacted the ground hard about 1/2 mile from the airstrip. The glider came to rest in the front yard of a trailer park. Nearly 2 months prior to the accident flight, the student's flight instructor authorized the student to fly the glider in solo flight.

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

The pilot's misjudged altitude approaching the airstrip and his failure to maintain airspeed resulted in the glider's collision with trees.

Full narrative available

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