NTSB Identification: NYC02LA092.
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Accident occurred Sunday, May 05, 2002 in Saratoga Spring, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/25/2003
Aircraft: Blanik L-13, registration: N711KR
Injuries: 2 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.

After flying for approximately 1/2 hour, the flight instructor told the student to proceed back to the airport, and enter the traffic pattern. En route, the glider encountered a "heavy sink." The instructor checked the variometer and noted a 1,000-foot per minute descent. He then told the student to increase airspeed in an attempt to fly out of the sink. The instructor then realized they would not make the airport. He took the controls, and because of insufficient altitude to maneuver, setup for a downwind landing to a softball field. The glider touched down in the field, and the instructor executed a ground loop to the left to avoid hitting a fence. No significant weather was reported for the accident time and location.

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

The glider encountering an unanticipated downdraft, which resulted in insufficient altitude to reach a suitable landing area.

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