NTSB Identification: LAX08CA262.
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Accident occurred Saturday, August 09, 2008 in Bend, OR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/26/2008
Aircraft: LET Blanik L-13, registration: N62345
Injuries: 1 Minor,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 pilot of the glider reported that he was taking a new glider club member for an introductory flight. He stated that the flight was "normal with good lift," and he was never more than 3 miles from the airport. On final approach about 3/4 miles from the runway threshold, the pilot felt the glider sink and noted that he was becoming too low to reach the runway. The terrain off the end of the runway was covered with juniper trees and sagebrush. He turned left to land off airport in the "only open spot." The left wing struck a tree, and the right wingtip then struck the ground. The right wing and the fuselage sustained structural damage. The pilot stated that from an altitude of 1,000 feet above ground level this glider "should be able to fly 3 miles, I lost 800 feet in less than 1/2 mile."
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's misjudged distance/altitude which resulted in an undershoot while on final approach to land. Factors contributing to the accident were the lack of thermal lift (sinking air), and the lack of suitable terrain for the off-airport landing. Full narrative available
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