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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: GAA17CA427
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, July 21, 2017 in Deatsville, AL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/17/2017
Aircraft: LET L23, registration: N342BA
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The Chief of Safety for the operator reported that the student pilot was on a solo flight in a glider and on the return leg to the airport when he noticed that he “seemed to be sinking quickly.” While talking with his instructor over the radio and scanning for an open field, he decided to land on a street in a nearby neighborhood. While on approach, the glider struck tree tops and then a power line. Subsequently, the glider rolled to the right and the right wing struck the ground. The glider came to rest on the right side of the fuselage and the student pilot exited the glider.
The glider sustained substantial damage to both wings and fuselage.
The Chief of Safety reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the glider that would have precluded normal operation.
The automated weather observation system about 8 nautical miles from the accident site reported, about the time of the accident, wind calm, temperature 91°F, dew point 75°F, and altimeter setting 30.04 inches of mercury.


The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • The student pilot’s failure to maintain clearance from trees and power lines while landing.