NTSB Identification: ERA11CA087
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, December 11, 2010 in Aberdeen, MD
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/08/2011
Aircraft: SCHWEIZER SGS 1-23D, registration: N91896
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.

According to the pilot, on his second flight of the day, he initiated a spin to the right around 3,200 feet. After approximately three-quarters of a turn, he attempted to recover from the spin by applying left rudder. He felt no resistance upon application of the rudder and the glider felt unresponsive. As he neared the ground, the pilot was able to maneuver toward trees. The glider impacted a tree, resulting in substantial damage to the wings. The glider remained in the tree for several days due to snow and ice storms before it could be recovered. A postaccident examination by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that the rudder turnbuckles were set per the maintenance manual and the rudder return springs were intact and not stretched. The rudder controls functioned properly when manipulated.

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

The pilot's loss of control during an intentional aerobatic maneuver (spin) resulting in a collision with trees.

Full narrative available

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