On October 21, 2000, about 1330 Eastern Daylight Time, a Schweizer SGS 2-33A glider, N2055T, was substantially damaged during an off airport landing near Brookhaven Airport (HWV), Shirley, New York. The certificated commercial pilot and passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local personal flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

The pilot stated that he departed HWV about 1300, and was towed to 3,000 feet. About 1330, he was approximately 2.5 miles south of the airport, at an altitude of approximately 2,000 feet agl. The glider encountered downdrafts and began a descent of 500 feet per minute (fpm). The pilot initially flew back toward the airport, and increased his speed to 63 miles per hour (mph).

The pilot added that he was about 1.5 miles south of the airport at "a little less than 2000' agl," when he observed a rate of descent indication of about 600 fpm. The pilot thought that he would not be able to reach the airport, and elected to land in a field. While on approach to the field, about 300 feet above the ground, the glider encountered another downdraft. Realizing that he was not going to reach the field, the pilot "deliberately stalled" the glider into trees.

Examination of the wreckage by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector did not reveal any pre-impact mechanical malfunctions, nor did the pilot report any.

The reported surface wind at HWV, at 1256, was from 210 degrees at 11 knots, gusting to 16 knots. The pilot stated that before departing HWV, he listened to the automated surface observation system via radio.

Additionally, the reported wind aloft over HVW at 0700, was 255 degrees true at 23 knots, at 2,739 feet msl. The reported wind aloft over HVW at 1900, was 290 degrees true at 17 knots, 2,696 feet msl.

According to the glider manufacturer, the best (two-place glider) gliding speed was 50 mph. That speed resulted in a lift to drag ratio of 23-1, which corresponded to a glide of approximately 8 miles from 2,000 feet.

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