NTSB Identification: SEA05LA137.
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Accident occurred Sunday, July 03, 2005 in North Plains, OR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/27/2005
Aircraft: Scheibe SF-28A Tandem-Falke, registration: N12HS
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.

The pilot reported that he was performing an engine off landing to the west, with a three to four knot tailwind. The pilot stated that the approach was normal until final approach when the airspeed indicator suddenly indicated a drop in airspeed to 20 mph. The pilot initially thought that it was wind shear or a stall and pushed the nose down and closed the spoilers. The airspeed indicator then indicated 70 mph and the glider's descent rate decreased. Because of the decrease in descent rate, the pilot now determined that his airspeed and altitude were too high for a safe landing on the airstrip. The pilot opted to land in an open field with tall grass adjacent to the airstrip. After making the decision to land in the field, the pilot, in an attempt to stay aloft longer, tried to start the engine even though he was aware that operating procedures did not recommend it. The pilot stated that he left the cowl flaps closed, left the fuel off because he believed that there was enough fuel in the system to start the engine, and he left the propeller feathered so as not to increase drag. The engine did not start and the pilot continued with the off airstrip landing. After flying over another glider and tow plane on the ground at about 10 feet above ground level, the glider suddenly stalled, dragging a wing and impacting the ground hard in a field next to the airstrip. The glider completed about a 120 degree turn before coming to rest. The field was covered with about three foot tall grass. In a subsequent written statement, the pilot reported that in May 2005, during stall testing, the airspeed indicator dropped to 20 mph and then jumped to 70 mph. After this event, the pilot had the line and airspeed indicator inspected. During this inspection, a couple of drops of water was found at the bottom of the drain plug. The line was cleared and there were no further problems. The pilot reported that the glider is kept outside and under a tarp. The pilot reported no anomalies with the airspeed indicator during the hour flight prior to the accident. The pilot also reported a lack of training in certain emergency procedures that might have helped him in preventing this accident.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain airspeed during landing. Inadequate emergency procedures training and high vegetation were factors.

Full narrative available

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