Fatal glider crash

21 December 2007, 9:30pm

A 59-year-old man has died after his glider crashed into hills in the Wilkins River area about 55km north of Wanaka this evening.

The pilot was taking part in the FAI World GP Gliding Championships currently being held in Omarama.

Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) launched a rescue response after being alerted by the championship organisers around 6.20pm that the pilot was overdue.

Rescue helicopters from Heli Works in Queenstown and Aspiring Helicopters in Wanaka were sent to locate the crashed glider, which was found about 8.30pm by the Heli Works crew on hillside above the Wilkins River at the northern end of Lake Wanaka.

No further details about the pilot are available as his next of kin will need to be informed.

Weather in the area at the time of the accident was reported as good for gliding.

The Civil Aviation Authority will be investigating the accident.

There will be a further announcement made at 10am tomorrow (Saturday) by the FAI World GP Gliding Championships organisers.

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