Pilot's experience saves lives
THE experience of pilot Ray Parker may have been the only thing that saved his life and the life of his passenger in a glider crash on Sunday afternoon.
Mr Parker, the Gympie Gliding Club’s chief flight instructor and his passenger, a new member of the club on his first flight, were trying to land the plane when the crash occurred.
The pair had been flying in fine conditions to the west of the Gympie Airport, at Kybong just after noon, when a fast-moving rain squall approached the airport from the south-east.
Mr Parker decided to head for home.
Gympie Gliding Club secretary Judith Smith said Mr Parker was in heavy rain and had limited visibility when he approached the northern entrance to the runway.
She said the glider was caught in a sudden downdraught, caused by the rain squall, and dropped unexpectedly from the air.
It hit a barbed wire fence before crashing into a grassed area before the runway.
Mr Parker and his passenger walked away from the crash with back injuries and were taken to hospital.