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NTSB Final Report: Alexander Schleicher GMBH & CO ASW 27-18

Prior To The Accident Flight, (Pilot) Had Not Flown In Over 90 Days

Location: Polk City, Florida Accident Number: ERA24LA119
Date & Time: February 15, 2024, 17:10 Local Registration: N429SH
Aircraft: Alexander Schleicher GMBH & CO ASW 27-18 Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of lift Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

Analysis: The pilot of the glider reported that prior to the accident flight, he had not flown in over 90 days. The purpose of the accident flight was to refamiliarize himself with the tasking area of an upcoming soaring contest, with a general aim to stay within gliding distance of the departure gliderport. For about 2 hours, the pilot flew south of the gliderport at altitudes between 3,000 to 4,000 ft above ground level. He then encountered weaker soaring conditions and miscalculated his altitude by 300 ft due to a discrepancy between the glider’s primary altimeter and the altitude displayed on his GPS/moving map computer. By that time, he was too low to glide back to the gliderport and elected to land in a field about 5 miles southeast of it. During the landing, the left wing struck a fence and sustained substantial damage. The pilot added that there were no preimpact mechanical malfunctions with the glider.

Probable Cause and Findings: The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be -- The glider pilot’s misjudged altitude, which resulted in an off-airport landing and collision with a fence.

FMI: www.ntsb.gov 

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