NTSB Identification: NYC08CA275
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, August 10, 2008 in Fincastle, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/22/2009
Aircraft: I.C.A.-Brasov IS-26B2, registration: N4281B
Injuries: 1 Serious,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.

According to the pilot of the I.C.A.-Brasov glider, he was towed to 4,000 feet and released southwest of the airport for a local flight. After release, the pilot attempted to orient himself geographically, but was unsuccessful. He typically operated north and east of the airport. According to the passenger, the pilot misidentified several landmarks, and the passenger attempted to correct him. The pilot eventually realized that he was no longer able to return to the airport of origin. He selected what he believed to be a suitable landing site, but after he turned onto the base leg of the approach, he saw that the field crop was corn instead of hay. At that point, the pilot was committed to landing, and there was no suitable alternate field within range. The glider settled into the corn, but then dropped suddenly to the ground, which resulted in substantial damage.

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

The pilot's geographic disorientation, which resulted in an off-airport landing. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's selection of an inadequate landing site.

Full narrative available

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