This is a courtesy translation by the BEA of the Final Report on the Safety Investigation published in January 2023. As accurate as the translation may be, the original text in French is the work of reference.
Note: the following information is principally based on the statement made by the pilot. This information has not been independently validated by the BEA.
1. History of the flight
After a towed take-off from Cahors-Lalbenque aerodrome, the pilot released the cable when he felt uplifts, at an altitude of approximately 600 m, north of the aerodrome.
The pilot experienced difficulties using the uplifts, the glider flew at an altitude of 600 m to 650 m. The southerly wind caused the glider to drift.
After approximately eight minutes, he decided to head to the aerodrome by cutting across in a straight line. The area he was flying over consisting mainly of vines, the pilot was aware there was no suitable field for an off-airfield landing nearby.
When he approached the base leg for runway 13, the glider hit some trees and came to rest on the ground.
2. Additional information
The Cahors-Lalbenque aerodrome AFIS officer reported wind from 170° of 4 kt.
The 73-year-old pilot obtained his glider pilot certificate in 1984. He held a glider pilot licence (SPL) and a light aeroplane pilot licence (LAPL). He had logged 508 flight hours of which 360 glider flight hours. In the 30 days before the accident, he had logged three glider flight hours, all on the Pegase.
The pilot explained that he should have delayed his decision to release the cable, to gain altitude.
He remembered that a safety directive had been published by a club instructor a few years before, recommending climbing to around 800 m QNH behind the tug plane. He suggested that all the members of the Centre de Vol à Voile Lotois should be reminded of this directive on a regular basis.
 Cahors Lalbenque aerodrome is at an altitude of 278 m.