NTSB Identification: DFW05CA211.
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Accident occurred Monday, August 08, 2005 in Encinal, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/31/2006
Aircraft: Schleicher ASW-27b, registration: N274DW
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 5,635-hour commercial glider pilot encountered poor lift thermal conditions while attempting to fly a cross-country competition flight. The pilot lost lift and decided to turn towards an airfield. As the pilot approached the field it became clear that the airport had been abandoned and was unsuitable for landing. The pilot elected to land on a dirt road. As the glider was touching down a cactus caught the left wing, which turned the glider into a fence. The left wing then came into contact with a fence post and a 180-degree ground loop followed.

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

The pilot's misjudgment of distance and altitude during a cross-country soaring flight. A contributing factor was the lack of suitable terrain for the landing.

Full narrative available

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