NTSB Identification: ATL02LA027.
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Accident occurred Saturday, December 29, 2001 in Benton, TN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/29/2003
Aircraft: Flugzeugbau DG-200, registration: N5457T
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The glider pilot was flying north in a ridge lift about 400 feet above a plateau area where he had previously found good thermals. He started a turn towards the front of the ridge towards a valley and encountered a severe sink rate. He continued the turn and the sink rate increased between 1,500 to 3,000 feet per minute and the glider collided with trees. The pilot did not experienced a mechanical failure or malfunction of the airframe or flight control system.

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

The pilot's inadvertent encounter with a downdraft while maneuvering in a ridge lift during a turn resulting in an in-flight collision with trees.

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