On July 25, 2000, approximately 1810 mountain daylight time, an Eiriavion Oy PIK 20E powered glider, N27RT, co-registered to and being flown by a private pilot, was destroyed during an in-flight collision with terrain following a loss of control during a go-around maneuver at Ravalli County airport, Hamilton, Montana. The pilot sustained serious injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed. The flight, which was personal, was operated under 14CFR91, and originated at Hamilton, Montana, approximately 1715.

The pilot reported that after engaging in soaring activity for a while he returned to the Ravalli County airport and entered a left downwind for runway 34. He further reported that " approach was too high and too fast" and that he "resolved to travel up the runway, make a 180 [degree] turn (wind and traffic not a factor) and land on RWY [runway] 16."

The pilot also reported that he "made a climbing ste[e]p turn to the right and began a 180 [degree turn] to the left. Near the end of the turn, [he] over-banked and, sensing an on-coming accelerated stall, leveled the wings and dropped the nose to assume recovery. With recovery assured, [he] pulled the nose level but had insufficient ground clearance to re-establish level flight and impacted the ground" (refer to attached NTSB Form 6120.1/2).

A witness (and co-owner of the aircraft) reported observing the glider begin its flare for runway 34 and stated that the glider "...seemed pretty fast...." He described the glider as climbing about 50 feet and then making a "sharp" 60 degree left turn, and noted that the glider's wings were near vertical. He stated that "...the stall occurred, [and] the glider nosed down but recovered just before hitting the soft grassy sand." (refer to attached statement).

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