NTSB Identification: IAD01LA076.
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Accident occurred Thursday, July 05, 2001 in Front Royal, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/13/2003
Aircraft: Rolladen-Schneider LS3-A, registration: N113RM
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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

During the glider flight, the pilot determined that he lacked sufficient lift to return to his home airport, and he selected an off-airport landing site. The pilot stated he was aware of the trees and wires along his planned approach path, and determined that they would not be a factor. The pilot said that as he maneuvered towards his landing site, he abbreviated and steepened his approach in an effort to touchdown in the first one-third of the field. Just prior to touchdown, the left wing struck a tree, and the glider impacted terrain. According to the pilot, "I set up for an abbreviated approach when I really didn't need to. I rushed the approach and I was high on my base and turn to final. I knew the trees were there, but I really didn't see them as a factor. If I were 2 feet to the right and 3 feet higher, we wouldn't be having this conversation. I just didn't see the obstacle."

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

the pilot's inadequate altitude/clearance from a tree along his final approach path.

Full narrative available

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