NTSB Identification: WPR11CA411
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, August 28, 2011 in Warner Springs, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/01/2011
Aircraft: SCHWEIZER SGS 2-32, registration: N5840V
Injuries: 1 Serious,2 Uninjured.

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, his release from the tow plane was normal. He released the tow rope at 7,100 feet mean sea level (msl) while over a 6,500-foot msl mountaintop for a planned 1/2-hour sightseeing flight. Little to no indication of lift was noted in the area, and the pilot reversed course. When the glider had descended to 6,900 feet msl and was continuing to rapidly descend, the pilot again reversed course toward lower elevation terrain. The glider’s altitude was insufficient to clear a ridgeline. On the side of the mountain, about 6,400 feet msl, the glider impacted rocks, trees, and shrubs, which resulted in the glider’s wings breaking.

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

The pilot’s inadequate altitude to clear a ridgeline while maneuvering over a mountainous area.

Full narrative available

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