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Sat, Apr 09, 2005

Glider Crash In Hawaii Claims Pilot, Two Pax Survive

A rare glider crash, in Hawaii, has claimed the life of a commercial glider pilot and injured the two people who were flying with him.

The Wednesday crash claimed the life of 22 year-old Tyler Nelson, and injured passengers John Streich, 52, of Gig Harbor, Wash., and his 12-year-old daughter, Ashley. The Schweizer 2-32 aircraft (file photo, below), operated by Soar Hawaii, crashed on a mountain ridge near Kaena Point, after departing Dillingham Field.

Streich is reported to have explained the crash as a result of local meteorological problems... and that the "glider hit two consecutive down drafts and Nelson was unable to pull the glider out of the second one." The ensuing impact resulted in the aircraft's flipping over and pinning the occupants inverted. It took several hours for rescue operators to reach the aircraft and extricate the survivors. The aircraft was spotted by another pilot who had been dispatched to look for the glider which had become overdue in its return from the short scenic flight.

The NTSB has been to the site and central to the subsequent investigation is a handheld video camera that may have captured all or part of the accident. Soar Hawaii is reported to have an enviable safety record and local sources claim that this is Dillingham's first glider-related fatality in some twenty years.

FMI: www.soarhawaii.com

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