NTSB Identification: LAX01LA091.
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Accident occurred Saturday, February 03, 2001 in Lake Elsinore, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/06/2001
Aircraft: Schweizer SGS 1-26E, registration: N2685H
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.

The student glider pilot had 25 hours total experience. This was his second flight of the day but his first ever in a single-place glider. He reported the flight was normal until the point where he returned for landing and was entering the landing traffic pattern. "[F]or some reason unknown to me, the glider went into a spin." He recovered from the spin about 200 - 300 feet below normal pattern altitude. He acknowledged that he should have adjusted his pattern to account for the loss of altitude but instead attempted to fly a normal pattern. As the aircraft approached the turning point from base leg to final approach, "I should have continued flying straight ahead, but I attempted to turn anyway. I was going too slow and was much too low to make a turn." The glider entered a spin a second time and impacted the ground. The pilot acknowledged having heard his instructor's instruction over the radio telling him to land straight ahead and not attempt the turn to final approach.

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

The failure of the glider pilot to maintain adequate airspeed during a turn from base leg to final approach, which lead to a stall and spin.

Full narrative available

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