IAD05CA081
IAD05CA081

On June 20, 2005, about 1624 eastern daylight time, a PZL-Swidnik PW-5 glider, N341PW, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain while maneuvering for an off airport landing near Bloomingburg, New York. The certificated private pilot received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the local personal flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91 which departed the Blairstown Airport (1N7), Blairstown, New Jersey.

According to the pilot, the purpose of the flight was to fly the "governor's cup north course" as part of a competition between regional glider pilots.

After approximately 2.5 hours of gliding, while heading towards Middletown, New York, the pilot stated that thermal lift began to decrease, and he decided to divert to the Wurtsboro-Sullivan County Airport (N82), Wurtsboro, New York. About 4.1 nautical miles from the airport, his glide computer indicated an estimated arrival altitude of 350 feet agl. However, over the next mile, lift continued to be lost, and the glider descended about 300 feet, which forced the pilot to find a off airport location to land.

The pilot chose to land in a hay field bordered by trees. He set up a right hand traffic pattern, and when he made a right turn from the base leg of his traffic pattern to the final leg, his "airspeed was low" and the glider "stalled and nosed down."

A post accident examination of the glider by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector, revealed that the glider had sustained substantial damage, and that the fuselage, was bent 90 degrees and exhibited multiple cracks and tears in the composite material.

The pilot reported no mechanical deficiencies with the glider.

A weather observation taken at the Orange County Airport (MGJ), Montgomery, New York, approximately 10 miles from the accident site, at 1654, recorded the winds as variable at 3 knots, 10 statute miles visibility, and clear skies below 12,000 feet.

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