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Summary

Summary

The pilot was participating in a 500 kilometres cross country gliding competition. Atmospheric conditions were not favourable for prolonged soaring flight, and none of the other participants was able to cover any significant distance. However, this particular aircraft departed on the planned track, and the next reported sighting was about 3 kilometres from the accident site. At this time the aircraft was circling at approximately 300 feet above the ground and tracking to the north-west. No further sightings were reported, and the wreckage of the aircraft was subsequently discovered in a paddock 102 kilometres from the DEPARTURE aerodrome, on the intended track. Investigation revealed that the glider had initially contacted the ground with the leading edge of the right wing, while the aircraft was in a steep nose-down attitude and spinning to the right. There were no known witnesses to the accident, and it could not be established whether the pilot had been attempting to outland or to find a thermal at low level. There was no evidence of any pre-existing mechanical defect which might have contributed to this occurrence. It was probable that control of the glider was lost during a manoeuvre at low speed and height above the ground, however the reason for the loss of control was not determined.

 
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