On April 7, 1996, at 1545 hours Pacific daylight time, a Schweizer SGS 1-34, N7623, operated by the Sierra Soaring Club and rented by the pilot, collided with terrain near Inyokern, California. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed during the personal flight, and no flight plan was filed. The glider was substantially damaged, and the private pilot was not injured. The flight originated from Inyokern at 1500.

The pilot indicated that the accident sequence began while soaring over a ridge. He stated that he turned into a saddle area near the Owens Peak, and then he turned back towards the ridge. While maneuvering, the glider encountered a high rate of sink. In the pilot's completed accident report he wrote the following statement: "I had not allowed sufficient height above the terrain, which was rising at approximately 20 to 30 degrees, to avoid impact."

The glider collided with the rapidly rising rough terrain. The pilot indicated that no mechanical malfunctions or failures were experienced during the flight.

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