Glider crash site examined

The glider crash scene, with the downed aircraft still on site. Photo CAA.
The glider crash scene, with the downed aircraft still on site. Photo CAA.

The Civil Aviation Authority completed its on-scene investigation yesterday into the fatal glider crash near Omarama.

Hororata farmer Michael John McKellow (60), known as Jo, was on a recreational flight with a friend in another glider when his fixed-wing glider lost altitude rapidly and crashed about 10.5km northwest of Omarama about 6.20pm on Wednesday. He died in the crash.

Two safety investigators from the CAA, Colin Grounsell and Matt Harris, arrived at Omarama on Thursday.

They have completed their examination of the crash site and glider wreckage near Omarama.

They were flown by helicopter to the site yesterday morning, and have now released the wreckage to the owners. The crashed glider was due to be lifted out of the area yesterday.

Mr Grounsell said the glider wreckage was lying at about 1645m on a tussock-covered slope in a reasonably large open area of hillside and that there was no difficulty in reaching it.

The CAA team stayed in the Omarama area yesterday to conduct interviews, and return to Wellington today.

A preliminary report into the accident is due within four weeks.