NTSB Identification: CEN11FA465
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, July 08, 2011 in Durango, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/27/2012
Aircraft: Pipistrel Taurus, registration: N261T
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Witnesses observed the glider maneuvering at low altitude with the engine running, and it landed hard at an off-airport location. An examination of the airframe and engine did not detect any preimpact anomalies that would have prevented the normal operation of the glider, and the glider's ballistic recovery parachute had not been deployed. A review of the weather in the area found that conditions were favorable for convective clouds with updrafts and downdrafts up to 40 knots with the possibility of microbursts; therefore, it is likely that the pilot encountered strong wind conditions and chose to perform an off-airport landing. It is also likely that, had the pilot lost control of the glider at altitude (prior to the attempted landing), he would have deployed the ballistic recovery parachute.

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

The pilot’s loss of control during the off-airport landing in strong winds, which resulted in a hard landing.

Full narrative available

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