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N9915J accident description

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Crash location 43.895833°N, 72.440000°W
Nearest city Tunbridge, VT
43.900345°N, 72.485654°W
2.3 miles away
Tail number N9915J
Accident date 13 May 2018
Aircraft type Schweizer SGS123
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

The solo student glider pilot reported that, during the return flight to the airport, he was unable to find enough lift and did not have enough altitude to cross a section of forest between his location and the airport. After he selected a field for landing, during the base leg turn, he determined that he did not have enough altitude to clear a line of trees at the threshold of the field. He then continued straight ahead, parallel to the line of trees, and impacted the ground in a small clearing.

The glider sustained substantial damage to the left wing and empennage.

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

NTSB Probable Cause

The student glider’s inability to maintain altitude due to a loss of thermal lift, which resulted in an off-airport landing.

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