LAX95LA106
LAX95LA106

On February 11, 1995, at 1500 hours mountain standard time, a Grob Twin Astir glider, N333BH, operated by the Tucson Soaring Club, Inc., of Tucson, Arizona, collided with a tree with its left wing during a forced landing near Fort Huachuca, Arizona. The aircraft was substantially damaged. The pilot and his passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the local pleasure flight.

According to the pilot's report, after the tow release at 2,000 feet above ground level, he had difficulty locating thermals for lift. Along the route, the pilot encountered a heavy sink rate and no lift. He saw a field and proceeded to set up for a forced landing. During the approach phase, the pilot noticed some power lines perpendicular to the intended landing direction. He decided to put the glider on a base leg for a landing to the northeast, parallel to the power lines. As the pilot began the final approach, there was a sudden, dramatic increase in the sink rate, coupled with a decrease in the airspeed. In an attempt to gain energy to clear the rapidly approaching obstacles, the pilot put the nose down and tried to level out. Moments later, the left wing tip struck the top of a tree.

The pilot stated that there were no mechanical problems with the aircraft prior to the crash.

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