Wreckage, body found in search for glider

  • 07/02/2016

Rescuers searching for a missing glider in Otago have found wreckage and a body in the Ben Ohau Range, northwest of Twizel.

The glider self-launched yesterday at around 1pm from Omarama, a small town in the Waitaki District in Otago. It was reported missing by Omarama Gliding at 8:20pm.

The pilot was the only person on board the aircraft and the Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) says police will make his name public once his next-of-kin have been informed.

The RCCNZ says the cause of the crash is still uncertain and the incident has been referred to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

An aerial search began last night when it was still light, and from 6am this morning aircraft were searching the area between Mt Cook and Roxburgh – approximately a 120km radius centred on Omarama.

It is believed the glider was flown towards the west, as an easterly wind was blowing.

The glider did not leave a flight plan or request flight following. The pilot had a radio with him, but the last contact with him was 2:06pm yesterday when the glider was flying at the north end of the Benmore Range.

The pilot was carrying a manually operated personal locator beacon, but it was not activated.

The glider was not fitted with an emergency location transmitter that would activate automatically.