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Sun. Jul 14th, 2024

Pilot, 65, dead after glider crash near Diamond Valley

By Vaseline May30,2024

A pilot described as a respected member of Alberta’s gliding community was killed in a glider crash near Diamond Valley on Wednesday afternoon.

According to Alberta RCMP, the Turner Valley detachment received a 911 call at approximately 1:30 p.m. reporting that a small, non-motorized glider had crashed in a field south of Highway 7, about 60 kilometers south of Calgary.

RCMP, EMS and Diamond Valley Fire Rescue attended and found the glider and its pilot, a 65-year-old male Calgary resident, who was pronounced deceased at the scene.

The incident occurred during the Canadian National Soaring Championships, a two-week event hosted at the Cu Nim Gliding Club, east of Diamond Valley.

Jason Acker, the president of the Alberta Soaring Council, told CBC News the pilot is not being named at this time, but said he has competed in many national championships.

Because the incident occurred during the game, Acker said there were witnesses to the crash and first responders arrived quickly.

“After it was determined this was a fatal accident, the RCMP and the Transportation Safety Board have been notified and will continue to investigate,” Acker said.

In a press release, Patrick McMahon, the president of the Cu Nim Gliding Club, and Christopher Gough, the club’s chief flight instructor, said the pilot was a long-serving former club president who had a passion for flying and was missed by many will be.

“This lost pilot was an experienced glider pilot, an active and reliable glider instructor, who regularly competed.

“Out of respect for the ongoing investigation by the Transportation Safety Board, and for the family of the deceased, we ask for privacy during this difficult time for the family, friends and colleagues affected by this loss,” the statement said.

Acker said the future of this year’s competition will be decided at a meeting Wednesday evening.

“The organizing committee and officials will meet with the pilots this evening to … make a decision whether the race will go ahead, or whether the race will be closed so that members of the club, the competitors and the community can come together and mourn the loss of their colleague,” he said.

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