LAX02LA042
LAX02LA042

On December 7, 2001, about 1408 Pacific standard time, a Burkhart Grob Flugzeugab, G102 Club Astir IIIB, N102FC, encountered wind gusts on final approach to runway 08 at the Banning Municipal Airport, Banning, California. The glider descended rapidly and impacted into an open field about 1 mile southwest of the airport. The glider was operated by the Orange County Soaring Association, Hemet, California, and it was destroyed. The commercial certificated pilot was seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. No flight plan was filed for the personal flight that was performed under 14 CFR Part 91. The flight originated from Hemet about 1300.

Within minutes of the accident, a Banning Police Department officer arrived on scene and interviewed several witnesses. The witnesses reported observing the eastbound glider approaching the airport. It was flying into an easterly wind. The officer stated that the consensus from the witnesses was that, at times during the glider's approach, its forward speed appeared to stop. As the glider descended, its wings rocked back and forth. Suddenly, a wing lowered and the glider appeared to fall nearly straight down from an altitude of about 60 feet above the ground.

The officer additionally reported that the wind was blowing extremely hard from the east. Blowing dust was prevalent, and persons standing near the glider were swaying in the wind. The officer estimated that the minimum constant wind speed was between 20 and 25 knots. There were gusts between 35 and 40 knots.

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