Crash report close

The glider on a Ribbonwood Station mountain top in January, before it was removed. Photo by CAA.
The glider on a Ribbonwood Station mountain top in January, before it was removed. Photo by CAA.
An investigation into a fatal glider crash near Omarama earlier this year is near completion, according to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

Hororata farmer Michael John "Joe" McKellow (60) was killed when his fixed-wing glider crashed on Snowy Top, on Ribbonwood Station, in January. CAA corporate communications manager Mike Richards said a full investigation into the incident was now "essentially complete."

However, Mr Richards said the investigation was still reliant on further information coming from "other agencies."

He said he was unable to give a firm date on when that information was expected to be received.

Mr McKellow had taken off in good conditions from Omarama airfield on January 12, with fellow members of the Canterbury Gliding Club.

Club president Kevin Bethwaite said he would be interested in the findings of the final report, but added that club members had already "all learnt" from the tragedy.

Mr McKellow's death had been a "wake-up call" for many, he said.

"Certainly, it was a soul-searching time for the club, to say there was a guy who had plenty of competency.

"In another way, Joe's accident has made us all safer, and that's a comment I hear from a lot of glider pilots: 'Just be careful'."

andrew.ashton@odt.co.nz