On May 19, 1996, at 1240 eastern daylight time, a Schweizer SGS-2-33A, a glider, struck trees while ridge soaring near Bloomingburg, New York. The glider received minor damage. The commercial pilot received minor injuries, and the passenger received serious injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight that originated at Wurtsboro Airport, Wurtsboro, New York. The flight was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

The pilot had been ridge soaring prior to the accident. In the NTSB Accident Report, he stated:

"...We worked our way in both directions within the area of the airport along the windward side of the ridge. The wind was from 300 [degrees] at 18 kts. with gusts to 25 kts. While working a thermal at 1300 feet AGL at a 45 MPH best thermaling air speed, the wind had pushed the glider to the top of the ridge which has an elevation of 1,000 ft. I continued the right turn with the intention of leaving the area as soon as I could attain a westerly heading when we encountered a strong wind sheer which stalled the glider while still in the turn. Pushed forward on the control stick but there was not enough room to recover and the glider landed in a forest of scrub oak at the top of the ridge...."

A witness at the airport reported seeing the glider above a ridge line to the east of the airport. The glider then entered a spin of about 1 1/2 rotations and disappeared behind the ridge line.

In the Recommendation section of the NTSB Accident Report, the pilot stated:

"Flying faster could have avoided the stall...."

The pilot reported that his total time was 554 hours with 200 hours in gliders. In the preceding 90 days, he had flown 1.2 hours in gliders.

Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsis
Return to Query Page