NTSB Identification: DFW06CA139.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, May 24, 2006 in Cherry Valley, AR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/29/2006
Aircraft: Allstar PZL SZD 51-1 Junior, registration: N751MS
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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.

After a glider flight of approximately one hour, the 4,674-hour commercial pilot was on final approach to land to the 3,638-foot long by 300-foot wide grass/turf runway. While on short final, the single-seat composite glider encountered "severe sink" and the left wingtip impacted a tree. The glider "cartwheeled" and came to rest in the upright position on the approach end of the runway 25. The pilot was extricated by rescue personal, who later reported his injuries as minor. No mechanical anomalies were reported with the airplane's flight controls. The pilot reported having accumulated 10 hours in the same make and model, with a total of 31.6 hours in gliders. The reported wind at the nearest airport with a weather reporting station, located about 35 nautical miles north of the accident site, were reported from 220 degrees at 5 knots, gusting to 12 knots. The pilot recommended that glider pilots use an "aim point" at least 800 feet further down the runway when landing in the future.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain clearance from a tree while on final to approach to landing. A contributing factor was the loss of thermal lift on final approach.

Full narrative available

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