NTSB Identification: LAX90FA310.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 45117.
Accident occurred Sunday, September 02, 1990 in CALIFORNIA CITY, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/30/1992
Aircraft: Schempp-Hirth NIMBUS-2C, registration: N39285
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

THE PILOT WAS PARTICIPATING IN A ROUND-ROBIN SOARING CHAMPIONSHIP CONTEST. WHEN THE GLIDER WAS ABOUT 2 MILES EAST OF THE FINISH LINE THE PILOT RADIOED THAT HE WAS INBOUND. WHEN THE GLIDER WAS ABOUT 1/4 OF A MILE EAST OF THE FINISH LINE WITNESSES OBSERVED ITS AIRSPEED APPEARED TO BE LESS THAN NORMAL. AFTER CROSSING THE FINISH LINE THE GLIDER ENTERED INTO A CLIMBING RIGHT TURN. WHEN THE GLIDER COMPLETED ABOUT A 180 DEGREE TURN, IT STALLED AND ENTERED INTO A SPIN. A GLIDER PILOT WHO OVERTOOK THE ACCIDENT GLIDER REPORTED THAT THE ACCIDENT PILOT BEGAN TO PREMATURELY DISPERSE HIS WATER BALLAST ABOUT 10 MILES EAST OF THE AIRPORT FINISH LINE.

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

THE PILOT'S IMPROPER DECISION TO EXECUTE THE RAPID CLIMBING TURN MANEUVER AT AN INSUFFICIENT AIRSPEED. CONTRIBUTING TO THIS ACCIDENT WAS THE PREMATURE DUMPING OF THE GLIDER'S WATER BALLAST.

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