NTSB Identification: SEA08CA163.
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Accident occurred Sunday, July 20, 2008 in Arlington, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/28/2008
Aircraft: LET Blanik L-13, registration: N48029
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 15-minute glider flight, the pilot entered the traffic pattern for a planned full-stop landing on a grass airstrip that ran adjacent to the active paved runway. He then extended his downwind leg in order to create a greater clearance between himself and a powered airplane that was landing on the paved runway. After rolling out on base leg, the pilot realized that he had extended his downwind leg too far to reach the grass strip under the gusting wind conditions. He therefore decided to land in a field short of the grass runway. While maneuvering to land in that field, he failed to maintain clearance from a nearby tree. After the wing of the glider hit the tree, it cart-wheeled into the field, and sustained wrinkling and crushing damage to both wings and fuselage.

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 making an off-field landing in a glider. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's inadequate compensation for the gusting winds.

Full narrative available

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