Investigation after gliding crash
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.’’