NTSB Identification: WPR10CA244
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, May 15, 2010 in Reno, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/01/2010
Aircraft: SCHWEIZER SGS136, registration: N3617E
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.

The student pilot had two dual flights in an ASK 21 glider to check out the local area since he had never flown from this airport or from a dirt runway. He received an endorsement to fly the Schweizer SG136 solo after the two dual flights; however, he had no other time in this make and model, and his total time was 60 hours. The departure was from runway 17. He maneuvered for about 1 1/2 hours and then returned to land. He noted that the radios were garbled on occasion. He did not hear the transmission indicating that the winds had shifted, and now favored landing on runway 21. He overflew the airport and observed the tetrahedron and windsock, which indicated that the wind was about 13 knots straight down runway 21. He said that he erroneously concluded that the wind was lighter than it was and decided to land on runway 03, which was the only runway he had utilized during the day. The instructor had briefed him that the winds could reverse from morning to afternoon. He said that he turned base too short, and was very high. With the tailwind, he began to run out of runway. He slipped once, and then brought the glider to level. He was about 50 feet above ground level (agl) at the midpoint of the runway. He slipped hard again, and noted as he came out of the slip that he had turned the glider to the right. He flew between a hangar and a clubhouse, and the left wing tore a gash in a trailer with a glider in it. The left wing and tail sustained substantial damage. The pilot sustained cuts on both hands, abrasions on his right leg, and whiplash to his neck.

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

The student pilot’s selection of the wrong runway for the wind conditions and his failure to attain the proper touchdown point. Contributing to the accident was the student's lack of total experience, lack of experience in the operating area, lack of experience in the make and model, and an inadequate evaluation of the winds during landing.

Full narrative available

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