Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Rolladen-schneider LS8-18, N16BP: Accident occurred March 21, 2016 in Pine Grove, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania 

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Harrisburg FSDO-13

NTSB Identification: GAA16CA156
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, March 21, 2016 in Pine Grove, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/01/2016
Aircraft: ROLLADEN-SCHNEIDER LS8, registration: N16BP
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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.

According to the pilot of the glider, while performing a cross country flight along a mountain ridge, the pilot could no longer maintain altitude as a result of unfavorable wind conditions. The pilot reported that he elected to execute an off airport landing. He recounted that he selected a suitable landing area, and executed a normal traffic pattern. However, he reported that he encountered a strong downdraft and the glider impacted trees that bordered the selected landing area. The glider sustained substantial damage to both wings. 

The pilot reported that there were no mechanical failures or anomalies with the glider prior to or during the flight that would have prevented normal flight operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:

The pilot's inability to maintain the glider's descent rate and glide path after encountering a downdraft, resulting in a collision with trees during an off airport landing.

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