Sunday, April 29, 2012

Civil Aviation Authority report confirms suspicions

Last updated 10:35 30/04/2012 

A Civil Aviation Authority investigation into the death of glider pilot Mike Dekker has confirmed many pilots' suspicions in relation to the accident, says Marlborough Gliding Club president Carl Jackson.

Many pilots thought that turbulence was a likely cause of the accident, and their suspicions had been supported by the findings of the CAA report released on Thursday, Mr Jackson said.

Mr Dekker, 55, died after his Mini-Nimbus HS7 glider crashed on Orchard Spur near the Taylor Pass while he was attempting a 1000-kilometre non-stop flight in 2009.

The CAA investigation could not reach a conclusive reason for the crash, but said significant turbulence and down draughts were most probably responsible.

Mr Jackson said that despite the findings of the investigation, there was still an element of mystery surrounding the crash. The weather on the day had appeared to be favourable for gliding but proved to be unpredictable.

"Gliding is essentially understanding weather, of which Mike had nearly 2000 hours of practice and many more planning and observing," said Mr Jackson. "Nature always has the potential to be unpredictable, which seems to be true in this case."

As a result of Mr Dekker's accident, most of Marlborough Gliding Club's cross-country pilots now carry GPS trackers on board their aircraft, said Mr Jackson.

The GPS trackers provide position reports on a website which allows a pilot's progress to be tracked. 


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