FTW02LA092
FTW02LA092

On March 12, 2002, at 1600 mountain standard time, a Schleicher AS-W19 glider, N333US, registered to and operated by the pilot, was substantially damaged when impacted the ground while maneuvering to land on runway 26 at the Moriarty Municipal Airport, Moriarty, New Mexico. The private pilot, who was the sole occupant, sustained minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed for the Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The flight originated at 1557 from the Moriarty Airport.

According to information provided in the enclosed NTSB Pilot/Operator Accident Report (NTSB Form 6120.1/2), the glider was connected to the tow plane and was climbing through 400-500 feet AGL, when both aircraft encountered turbulence. The glider was "climbing and sinking rapidly and the glider pilot could not neutralize the motion. She believed that she had enough altitude to turn and make a downwind landing, so she released the tow line. The pilot then turned back to the runway to make a downwind landing. While in the turn, the pilot received a radio call from the ground telling her to try to continue around to make a landing into the wind. The pilot attempted to follow the instructions from the person on the ground, and the left wing tip contacted the ground before the turn was completed.

The pilot stated that if she had continued on her original plan to land downwind, then she thought that she could have made the landing without incident.

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