In­ves­ti­ga­tion af­ter glid­ing crash

The Bay Chronicle - - MOTORING - STAFF RE­PORTER

Civil Avi­a­tion Au­thor­ity in­ves­ti­ga­tors will meet with lo­cal po­lice as they be­gin their in­ves­ti­ga­tions into a fa­tal glid­ing in­ci­dent in the Far North.

A Civil Avi­a­tion Au­thor­ity (CAA) spokesman said three safety in­ves­ti­ga­tors had been dis­patched to North­land from Welling­ton to start the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the cause of the crash in­volv­ing an ex­pe­ri­enced glider in his early 70s on Novem­ber 16 in Kaikohe.

The man in­volved in the crash – who had been glid­ing since he was young and was ‘‘very fit’’ for his age – had gone miss­ing mid-flight af­ter leav­ing the Kaikohe Air­field, Kaikohe Glid­ing Club sec­re­tary Keith Falla said. Falla and a fel­low glider had been fly­ing for about an hour and a half be­fore the man ar­rived and self-launched. ‘‘We have no idea what hap­pened up there, it wasn’t an ad­ven­tur­ous flight ... just a re­laxed af­ter­noon fly,’’ Falla said. ‘‘When he didn’t re­turn we called Search and Res­cue.’’

The CAA spokesman said the Class 2 mi­cro­light glider de­parted Kaikohe at 3.30pm. It was lo­cated 3.2km west of the air­field, but the sole oc­cu­pant was dead. Falla said the man who died was ‘‘very out­go­ing and a friend to ev­ery­body. The crash is a com­plete mys­tery to us and we’re still try­ing to get our heads around it.’’

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