NTSB Identification: CEN12LA553A
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, August 17, 2012 in Uvalde, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/09/2013
Aircraft: SCHLEICHER ASG29-15M, registration: F-CIFB
Injuries: 1 Minor,1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilots of both gliders were engaged in an international gliding competition. The pilot of F-CIFB said he was circling at an altitude of about 6,000 feet mean sea level (msl) when he observed that the pilot of D-6080 was operating in a good “bubble” (thermal) about 325 feet below him. The pilot of F-CIFB maneuvered his glider into the same “bubble” behind D-6080. Shortly thereafter, he heard his glider’s proximity alarm sound "BELOW" and felt an impact.

The pilot of D-6080 said he was climbing with several other gliders in a strong thermal when he was struck by F-CIFB from behind. He said he did not see the glider and was unaware of its presence. The collision occurred about 5,700 feet msl. The pilot of D-6080 parachuted to safety. The pilot of F-CIFB landed the glider uneventfully with minor damage to its left wing. The empennage of D-6080 was severed and later found some distance from the main wreckage. Damage was consistent with D-6080 being struck from below and behind by F-CIFB.

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

The glider pilot’s inadequate visual lookout and collision avoidance just after joining a thermal in which other gliders were operating, which resulted in a midair collision with another glider.

Full narrative available

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