Severe down draft causes glider to crash.
The weather conditions are being blamed for the death of British flying ace Owen Truelove (69yo) and his son James (37yo) after their glider crashed in Central Otago.
The bodies of the two men where removed from the wreckage of their powered glider after an incredible two day search that involved more than ten helicopters and fixed wing aircrafts. The craft was found on the side of Mount Prospect that is roughly 35km to the west of Omarama.
A crew aboard a search and rescue helicopter spotted the glider just after 2pm local time but because of the meteorological conditions at the time the recovery was delayed until later on in the day.
Hope was soon shattered for family and friends after 5pm when the rescue helicopter reported there had been no survivors.
Omarama chief flying instructor Hugh Turner told The Press that the gliding community was in shock.
He said Owen Truelove was an excellent pilot, with a “great personality” while his son had just taken up the pursuit.
“The pair were ‘good blokes'”, he told The Press. “The gliding community is a small one and everyone feels the loss acutely. We are all trying to support each other” he said.
Sergeant Wayne Brew, the police search and rescue co-ordinator, said that the conditions at the crash scene were bad, with the high winds and heavy rain.
Rescuers had to land some way away from the stricken craft, then head to the scene on foot. Crews secured the debris last night to give investigators a clearer picture of the crash scene.