NTSB Identification: WPR16LA096
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, April 24, 2016 in Clements, CA
Aircraft: DG FLUGZEUGBAU GMBH DG 800B, registration: N800YG
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
On April 24, 2016, at 1706 Pacific daylight time, a DG Flugzeugbau GMBH DG-800B, N800YG, struck trees during landing near Clements, California. The motor glider was registered to, and operated by, the owner under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. The private pilot was not injured, and the glider sustained substantial damage. The cross-country personal flight departed Byron Airport, Byron, California, at 1417. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.
The pilot utilized a tow-plane for departure. About 2 1/2 hours into the flight, while on the return leg to Byron, the glider encountered reduced lift conditions. The glider had descended to about 2,400 ft above ground level (agl), and unable to maintain altitude; the pilot selected a field for landing about 5 miles away. His intention was to perform an engine air-start prior to touchdown so he could return to Byron under powered flight.
The pilot overflew the field while descending from 1,700 to 1,100 ft agl, and during the landing approach the engine would not start. He therefore elected to continue with the landing, however, wind conditions were stronger than anticipated, so he was unable to reach the landing spot. Without a safe alternate landing site, he continued the approach, landing short and into a group of eucalyptus trees.
The glider came to rest left wing down, with the cabin resting against a tree trunk about 10 ft in the air. The pilot was able secure the glider, open the canopy, and climb to the ground. The left wing fragmented during the accident sequence, and the tailboom and empennage twisted away from the main cabin along the longitudinal axis.