Saturday April 28, 2012

Local News

Woman Dies While Hang Gliding

Mount Woodside the scene of tragic accident

Staff/Voice

 

The hang glider pilot was taken to Chilliwack General hospital just after 5 P.M. Saturday.

 

tragedy unfolded around noon on Saturday at Mount Woodside near Agassiz when a woman on a guided tour plunged to her death after becoming detached from a tandem hang glider.

RCMP were on the scene within minutes and Kent-Harrison Search and Rescue brought in their air unit from Kamloops to assist in the search of the heavily wooded area under the jumping off point.

At the time, the victim was carrying a cell phone, however it was off the air and could not be used to locate the body.

 

An extensive ground search was immediately launched off of the access roads in the area, but due to rugged terrain, the victim's body was not located by SAR members until approximately 7:30 P.M.

The pilot waits at CGH to be taken to the local police station detachment and then back to Agassiz.

It's still too early in the investigation to know if the cause was due to faulty equipment or an improperly fastened harness.

Also not known, is how high the hang gliders were when the accident happened.

Initial reports were that a variometer, or "vario", was not utilized on the aircraft. The devices are attached to the hang glider and used to record flight data like descent/ascent rates, speed, altitudes and have built-in sink alarms.

Police are reviewing a video and the Province paper reported that it was the woman's boyfriend who did the filming. The item also stated that as the woman was falling, she pulled off one of the pilot's shoes, which was found later by another hang glider. Searchers were then able to pinpoint the victim's body.

Victim services were called in to assist the shaken men and the pilot was taken to Chilliwack General Hospital as members of the woman's family gathered at the scene.

More details later as they become available. See the Google Image of the area below.

Copyright (c) 2012 The Valley Voice