NTSB Identification: NYC07LA095.
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Accident occurred Monday, April 16, 2007 in Circleville, WV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/30/2008
Aircraft: Rolladen-Schneider LS8-18, registration: C-GFPQ
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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 was attempting a ridge-soaring world glider record flight. Two weeks earlier, he completed a similar flight utilizing the same Appalachian ridge lift conditions. The pilot stated that he had prepared "extensively" for the flight, and had consistently monitored the weather conditions during the previous 2 weeks. The pilot also noted that he was very familiar with the ridge, having flown more than 500 hours over it, including a first place finish at a previous year's competition. The pilot characterized the flight, until the accident, as "uneventful," with "good" visibility and winds "favorable for ridge lift." The pilot did not have to make any 360-degree turns during the flight. He was "cruising on course" when he encountered mechanical turbulence near the "spine" of a mountain, which drove the glider down and into the side of a ridge. The pilot and glider were located the following day. There were no mechanical anomalies noted with the glider.

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

The glider's inadvertent encounter with mechanical turbulence.

Full narrative available

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