NTSB Identification: LAX05LA239.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, July 19, 2005 in Sparks, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/28/2006
Aircraft: As+ Ltd AC4, registration: N9276Y
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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 stalled and impacted level terrain on final approach to landing. The pilot returned to the gliderport about 20 minutes after release from the tow plane. The pilot made no radio transmissions to indicate the reason for the return to the gliderport. Airborne and ground witnesses reported that they saw the accident glider enter the downwind leg at a high altitude. After turning onto the final approach leg, the glider began to make S-turns to lose altitude. Witnesses indicated that on the third S-turn, about 200 feet above the ground, the glider stalled and descended in a near vertical nose down attitude and impacted the ground short of the runway. No evidence of a preimpact mechanical malfunction or failure was found during post accident examination of the glider. Chlorpheniramine, an over-the-counter sedative antihistamine, was detected on toxicology testing of the pilot's blood at a level several times higher than that expected with the dosage described in the pilot's most recent application for airman medical certificate.

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

the pilot's failure to maintain an adequate airspeed while performing S-turns on final approach, which resulted in a stall and uncontrolled descent into terrain. A contributing factor in the accident was the pilot's impairment due to ingestion of an over-the-counter sedating antihistamine.

Full narrative available

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