NTSB Identification: WPR12CA072
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, December 28, 2011 in Murrieta, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/27/2012
Aircraft: SCHWEIZER SGS 1-26B, registration: N8641R
Injuries: 1 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.

During a solo instructional glider flight, the student pilot released from the tow airplane at a planned altitude of 4,250 feet mean sea level. Upon the release, the student pilot was not able to locate any up-currents, and the sink rates the glider encountered varied between 200 to 600 feet per minute. The pilot stated that there was insufficient lift to clear the ridge safely and glide back to the airport, so he selected two open fields for a possible off-field landing. The pilot stated that, on final approach to the field, he observed signs between the glider’s current position and the intended landing site that he had not seen during his fly-by inspection. He maneuvered around the obstructions and decided to land on a road. The glider landed on the road, and the right wing collided with a previously unseen mailbox post, which resulted in substantial damage to the wing.

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

The glider's encounter with insufficient atmospheric lift to maintain soaring flight.

Full narrative available

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