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N17909 accident description

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Crash location 43.343611°N, 72.517223°W
Nearest city Springfield, VT
43.289519°N, 72.478978°W
4.2 miles away
Tail number N17909
Accident date 05 May 2018
Aircraft type Schweizer Sgs 1 26
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

According to the glider pilot, he remained airborne for about 90 minutes before encountering downdrafts while pursuing a cumulous cloud system. He immediately attempted to return to the airport but had to select an off-airport landing site instead. During approach, the glider had "insufficient altitude" to clear trees on the west side of the field and collided with branches before impacting the ground.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and left-wing spar.

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

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot’s inability to maintain sufficient altitude after the glider encountered downdrafts during the approach, which resulted in the glider striking trees.

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