NTSB Identification: LAX05CA190.
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Accident occurred Saturday, May 28, 2005 in Williams, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/13/2005
Aircraft: S.A. Centrair Pegase 101D, registration: N70LE
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The glider made an off-airport landing on a dirt road in crosswind conditions with rising terrain to the right, and ground looped. While soaring, the glider encountered sinking conditions and could not maintain sufficient lift for a landing at the departure gliderport. After determining that he was unlikely to be able to return to the departure airport, the pilot made a forced landing on a fire service road. During the landing rollout, due to a combination of rising terrain and an existing crosswind, the right wing lifted up, and the left wing contacted the ground, and ground looped.

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

loss of thermal lift during flight that resulted in a forced landing in an area without suitable landing terrain. Also causal was the pilot's inadequate compensation for the existing crosswind.

Full narrative available

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