This is a courtesy translation by the BEA of the Final Report on the Safety Investigation published in July 2022. 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 statements made by the pilot. This information has not been independently validated by the BEA.
1. History of the flight
The pilot took off from Graulhet-Montdragon aerodrome at around 14:00. He used uplifts near the aerodrome until he reached an altitude of 1,900 m. He then flew eastwards before heading north towards Albi, using new uplifts on the way. He next took an easterly direction and tried to use new uplifts without success. He was flying outside the local area of Albi aerodrome and decided to perform an off-airfield landing. During the landing, the glider hit the ground hard and made a ground loop. The tail unit, fuselage and landing gear broke on impact.
2. Additional information
The 41-year-old pilot held an SPL glider pilot license issued in November 2020. He had logged 121 flight hours of which 45 h were on type, and 6 h and 30 min in the previous three months, all on type.
He stated that he had attended the weather briefing and had noted a calm wind from 230° of 2 kt, visibility greater than 10 km and few clouds with a very high ceiling. He was authorized to carry out an extended local flight, while flying locally to an aerodrome.
He explained that he failed to find uplifts despite the good aerological conditions and that he flew out of the local area of Albi aerodrome despite the instructions. He then decided to perform an off-airfield landing and located a 400 m-long field suitable for a precautionary landing oriented west-east, when he was at a height of approximately 600 m. During the approach, he attempted to use a thermal uplift, neglecting to maintain the flight path. He was unable to control the landing and performed an incorrect flare.