NTSB Identification: NYC08LA168
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, April 19, 2008 in Dansville, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/05/2009
Aircraft: LET Blanik L-13, registration: N90870
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 flight instructor was conducting a glider familiarization flight with the private pilot, who had not flown in a glider for about 3 years. The private pilot entered the traffic pattern for the grass landing area adjacent to runway 14. The flight instructor stated that the private pilot was "a little reluctant" to remove the dive brakes and that the instructor removed them while on final approach at 600 feet above ground level. He further stated that the glider encountered a wind gradient that substantially reduced the glider's glide ratio. The glider subsequently landed short of the desired touchdown point and the left wing struck a tree. The glider came to rest about 100 feet before the runway. The private pilot stated that she felt the glider was "too high" until she turned onto the final approach path and realized it was actually "too low." Winds reported at the airport about the time of the accident were from 140 degrees at 15 knots.

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

The pilot's failure to attain the proper glide path and the flight instructor's delayed remedial action. Contributing to the accident was the encountered headwind.

Full narrative available

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