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N3872 accident description

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Crash location 44.327500°N, 93.327223°W
Nearest city Faribault, MN
44.294964°N, 93.268827°W
3.7 miles away
Tail number N3872
Accident date 26 Jul 2009
Aircraft type Glasflugel Standard Libelle
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

The pilot reported no anomalies with the glider's flight controls during preflight inspections that preceded two flights on the day of the accident. The first flight was 40 minutes in duration and no anomalies were noted with the glider. The second flight, which was the accident flight, was about 2 1/2 hours in duration during which the the pilot completed a before landing check of the dive brakes. The closure of the dive brakes during the check was described as normal. During the downwind leg of the approach, the dive brakes were extended and locked in place. The pilot stated that during the dive brake extension, they "seemed difficult to open, as sometimes happens" in the accident glider. The pilot stated the dive brakes could not be retracted during the approach and that she had to fly a closer traffic pattern to land on the runway resulting in a steep approach. The right wing tip struck the ground and the glider experienced a hard landing on the grass landing area adjacent to runway 30. Damage to the glider included a fuselage separation several feet forward of the empennage and towards the lateral direction resulting in substantial damage. Post accident photos of the glider show the dive brakes retracted. The pilot received minor injuries. The pilot stated the dive brakes operated normally after the accident.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's inability to maintain proper airspeed on approach to land.

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