LAX95LA197
LAX95LA197

On May 20, 1995, at 1530 hours Pacific daylight time, a Bolcow Phoebus C glider, N1379, collided with a desert dry wash during the ground run of a forced landing near Helendale, California. The glider was being operated by the pilot/owner as a personal flight. The glider was substantially damaged. The certificated private pilot was not injured. The flight originated at Crystal Airport in Llano, California, at 1215 hours for a cross-country toward Las Vegas, Nevada. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed.

In his written report, the pilot stated that "near Helendale, the required lift was not available" for continued flight and he was forced to land. Initially, the pilot intended to land at the Palisades private airport; however, his ground crew reported that the gate was locked. He then selected a suitable off-airport field adjacent to the airstrip. The pilot stated that the ground crew informed him the winds were "at 180 degrees at 5 knots." The selected field slopes uphill to the north, so the pilot chose a north downwind landing uphill. The pilot said the glider touched down beyond his intended touchdown point due to a stronger than reported tail wind. Braking action was poor during the landing roll due to the sandy, hard soil of the field. The glider overran the selected area, and rolled downhill into a wash at 20 mph. The pilot attempted to ground loop the glider to prevent entering the wash; however, the glider slid into the wash wing first.

The pilot stated that after the accident he observed the winds from 180 degrees at 10 knots with higher gusts to 13 knots.

The pilot reported no mechanical failures of the flight controls.

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