Monday, March 13, 2017

Schweizer SGS 1-26E, Aero Club Albatross Inc., N17933: Accident occurred March 11, 2017 in Bangor, Northampton County, Pennsylvania

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf 

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office: Allentown, Pennsylvania

Aero Club Albatross Inc: http://registry.faa.gov/N17933

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA196
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, March 11, 2017 in Bangor, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/07/2017
Aircraft: SCHWEIZER SGS126, registration: N17933
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.

The glider pilot reported that, while returning to his home airport, he was unable to find enough lift and did not have enough altitude to cross a section of land called “The Gap.” After he altered course to land at an alternate airport, he attempted to ridge soar but again did not encounter enough lift. He “hugged the ridge top” for as long as he could and then proceeded down a valley in anticipation of landing in a field. Subsequently, the glider collided with trees preceding the field and came to rest suspended in the trees.

The glider sustained substantial damage to both wings and empennage. 
The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the glider that would have precluded normal operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The glider’s encounter with atmospheric conditions where the lift was not sufficient to maintain flight, which resulted in an off-airport landing. 

The glider pilot reported that while returning to his home airport, he was unable to find enough lift, and did not have enough altitude to cross a section of land called "The Gap". After he altered course to land at an alternate airport he attempted to ridge soar, but was again unable to encounter enough lift. He "hugged the ridge top" for as long as he could and then proceeded down a valley in anticipation of landing in a field. Subsequently, the glider collided with trees prior to the field and came to rest suspended in the trees.

The glider sustained substantial damage to both wings and empennage. 

The pilot reported that there were no pre-accident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the glider that would have precluded normal operation.

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