IAD00LA051
IAD00LA051

On June 2, 2000, at 1422 Eastern Daylight Time, a Slingsby 41-2 glider, N41SL, was substantially damaged when it collided with an airport perimeter fence while on final approach to Runway 32 at Dansville Airport (DSV), Dansville, New York. The certificated private pilot/owner was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the local personal flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

In a telephone interview, the pilot said:

"It was pilot error, period. This was my second time flying the glider after being checked out by a flight instructor. I entered the downwind of the traffic pattern at 1,000 feet, which was 200 feet high. I tried to lose the extra altitude by using the air brake. I was not descending and decided to extend my downwind. I made the turn to final and was 'bucking' a 10-15 knot headwind. I thought I had closed the air brakes on final, but people on the ground after I landed said the brakes were still deployed. The entire approach felt and looked different than what I am used to. I was trying to clear the airport's perimeter fence to land on the 4,000 foot grass runway, but the skid caught it and the glider nosed over."

According to the pilot's written statement, he said:

"This accident is all pilot error...(1) entering the pattern too high, (2) Extending the downwind (the landing field is long enough to absorb the extra altitude), and (3) not being certain that the brakes were closed."

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector performed an on-scene examination. According to the inspector, the glider collided with a 4-foot high chain link fence and sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and bow. No damage was noted to the wings or tail.

The pilot stated that he was used to flying a Schweizer-126 glider that has a lower glide ratio than the Slingsby, which has a glide ratio of 30:1. He reported a total of 62 total flight hours in gliders, of which 1.3 hours were in make and model.

The pilot reported there were no mechanical deficiencies with the glider, and that he, "should have used better judgment in the landing pattern."

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