NTSB Identification: ERA11CA288
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, May 07, 2011 in Athens, TN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/22/2011
Aircraft: SCHLEICHER ASW-27, registration: N27LX
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.

While participating in a soaring competition, the pilot of the glider realized that a layer of high cirrus clouds had moved into the area and had stopped the heating of the ground by the sun. The thermal activity began to get progressively weaker and the pilot began to look for a place to make an off-airport landing. He observed a mowed hay field, did not see any obstructions, and chose it for his landing site. After turning on final approach with the wing flaps and spoilers extended, the glider struck two electrical transmission lines that were running diagonally across the glidepath, about 15 feet above ground level. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and wing during the impact with the wires.

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

The pilot's inadequate visual lookout resulting in a collision with power lines while making an off-airport landing.

Full narrative available

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