Glider pilot dies in crash

An experienced Australian pilot competing in the South Island Gliding Championships died in a crash near Lake Hawea yesterday afternoon.

``At this stage we have limited information around the crash but we can confirm he was a high-hour pilot from Melbourne, with in excess of 4500 hours in his logbook,'' Gliding New Zealand spokesman Nigel Davy said.

He had arrived more than a week ago to get familiar with flying in the area.

The pilot took off from the Omarama competition base.

Otago Lakes central area commander Inspector Olaf Jensen said police received a report of a glider crash in the Hunter Range, near Lake Hawea, about 5.30pm.

``A helicopter was deployed from Queenstown ... but while it was responding, a person in a privately owned fixed-wing aircraft located the wreckage.''

The sole occupant of the glider was found dead by emergency services at the scene.


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