SEA07LA132
SEA07LA132

On May 19, 2007, approximately 1400 Pacific daylight time, a Schweizer SGS 1-26A glider, N2707Z, sustained substantial damage when it struck a fence and two trees during an off-airport landing near Skylark Field Airport, Lake Elsinore, California. The student pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. The glider was registered to and operated by the Lake Elsinore Soaring Club of Wildomar, California. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local solo instructional flight, conducted under 14 CFR Part 91. No flight plan was filed for this flight.

The pilot reported that he took off at approximately 1330 local time and released from the tow plane at 2,800 feet above ground level (AGL). During the flight, the glider encountered "small pockets of light lift and moderate to severe sink due to sheer." At the conclusion of the flight, the pilot maneuvered the glider at 1,000 feet AGL to enter the downwind for the landing runway. According to the pilot, at the point where he normally entered the downwind leg of the traffic pattern, the glider "encountered massive sink." The pilot determined that he would not make it back to the airport and searched for a place to land. The pilot maneuvered over some power lines and touched down on a roadway adjacent to a park The pilot started braking upon landing on the road, but the left wingtip wheel caught on a curb and turned the glider 90 degrees to the left. The glider exited the paved road and came to a stop, upright, as each wing impacted a small tree, and the nose of the glider impacted a wooden fence.

The pilot reported no mechanical malfunctions or failures.

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