Piolts David Greatz and Trevor Burke.
Piolts David Greatz and Trevor Burke. Renee Albrecht

UPDATE: Emergency landing no big deal for glider pilots

UPDATE 2.40PM: TWO Gympie pilots were "surprised" to find themselves the centre of attention today when their glider made an unexpected landing in a Southside paddock.

Hopping out of the aircraft after it had come to a halt, pilots David Greatz and Trevor Burke were soon greeted by emergency services responding to a call about their impending landing.  

With more than 30 years experience under his belt, Burke said it was an unusual reaction.  

"I heard a siren in the distance and thought 'I hope that's not for us'," he said.  

In fact, it turns out gliders landing in fields is a somewhat regular occurrence - so much so, Mr Burke never "gave a thought" to them needing help.  

Headed to Bundaberg, Mr Burke said they quickly found weather conditions were not what they were expecting.  

"It might look good... but then you find out it's not," he said.  

Turning around, they discovered there were not enough thermal pockets to get them back to the airport.  

So, they found themselves faced with option number three.  

"We just got lower and lower and eventually had to land in a paddock and land in it," Mr Greatz said.  

This landing was a little more bumpy than preferred, though.  

"You usually pick a ploughed paddock," Mr Burke said.  

"We found a couple of big bumps but it was alright after that," Mr Greatz said.  

Unsure of the reception this time, Mr Burke said people usually saw the funny side of a paddock landing.  

"If you don't get a cup of warm tea you haven't done it properly," Mr Burke said.  

Of the commotion surrounding this landing, he said it was likely due to how close they were to Gympie.  

Normally, he said, you would land "unnoticed" in a paddock, quietly pack the glider up and steal off for the next adventure.  

Which, with the trailer arriving shortly afterwards, was exactly what they proceeded to do.  

The glider was not damaged in the landing.  

EARLIER: 12.50PM A GLIDER has made an emergency landing in a paddock about 3km up Stumn Rd on Gympie's Southside.

Emergency services are on the scene and at first were unable to locate the glider and its pilot. They have just been located but it is uncertain how bad the emergency landing was and if the pilot has been injured.

An eye witness was standing on the corner of Mary and Monkland St when he saw the glider go down a short time ago.

He said the full sized glider with a large wing span was "very low" when he went overhead near the Mary River, coming from the south.

"I thought 'wow, that's really low," the eye witness said.

"Then he turned and started heading towards the Mary River. He was dropping quite rapidly. It was all over in five seconds."

More information as it comes to hand.

Gympie Times


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