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N2540H accident description

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Crash location Unknown
Nearest city Cumberland, MD
39.652865°N, 78.762518°W
Tail number N2540H
Accident date 08 Sep 2001
Aircraft type Schweizer SGS 1-35
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On September 8, 2001, about 1620 eastern daylight time, a Schweizer SGS 1-35 glider, N2540H, was substantially damaged while landing at Greater Cumberland Regional Airport (CBE), Cumberland, Maryland. The certificated private pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local personal flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91. The flight had departed CBE about 1600.

Prior to the accident flight, the pilot had not flown the same make and model as the accident glider. He had approximately 92 hours of flight experience in gliders. The pilot received a cockpit briefing from an instructor, and was then towed to 3,000 feet above ground level (agl). After soaring for several minutes, the pilot entered a downwind leg for runway 29 at 500 feet agl. On base leg, he extended the flaps to 30 degrees. The glider initially "ballooned," and the pilot maintained a 55-knot approach speed. The pilot then realized he was "too fast" and "too high." He then extended the flaps to 80 degrees, and performed a forward slip.

The pilot added that his attention was diverted to another glider landing ahead of him, and the accident glider's spoiler/flap combination was not as effective as other models he had flown. The pilot touched down to the right of the glider ahead of him, on the grass adjacent to the runway, and more than 1,800 feet beyond the approach end of the 2,442-foot long, asphalt runway. The glider then bounced several times, and traveled off the end of the runway into a fence. The glider sustained damage to the wing spars and fuselage.

Examination of the wreckage by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector did not reveal any pre-impact mechanical malfunctions, nor did the pilot report any.

The reported wind at CBE, at 1555, was from 140 degrees at 4 knots.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot misjudged distance and altitude. A factor was the pilot's lack of familiarity with the glider.

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