Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Hang glider rescued after crashing on East Ridge near Butte

Emergency responders rescued a hang glider who crashed on the East Ridge Sunday evening.

Brad Belke of the 15/90 Search and Rescue team said the Whitehall man was found uninjured just north of the Our Lady of the Rockies statue and about 500 feet below the statue. He survived the crash with just a small cut to his chin after having to parachute from the out of control glider.

“He’s the luckiest guy I’ve ever seen,” Belke said.

The incident was reported about 7:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. when several witness claimed to have seen a hang glider crash on the East Ridge. Butte police contacted the search and rescue team that evening.

A team member used a spotting scope to find the downed craft and rescuers were sent to the area. Belke said the man was found in treacherous area that was very steep that had much rock fall. They were able to safely help the man out of the area.

Belke said the man was testing out a new tandem-rigged hang glider on the East Ridge when he lost control of the craft and had to bailout. The man had a parachute and was able to land safely.

The team finished the search and rescue by 11 p.m.

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