World Gliding Championships, 1995, Bulletin No. 4

Last Update: 4-January-1994

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From: (John Roake)
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Date: Mon, 02 Jan 1995 19:45:29 +1200
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World Gliding Championships - BULLETIN NO 4

Special news release - Day Two of the practice week.

Pilot error appears to be the reason behind the breaking up of a sailplane flown by a French competitor in the World Gliding Championships at Omarama today, Monday, January 2.

The French pilot Gerard Lherm ejected from his sailplane at about 8000 feet when it disintegrated and was seen by an observing pilot to spiral and crash into the ground in the Lindis Pass about 30 kilometres from Omarama. Lherm parachuted safely and started walking over difficult terrain to the main road about five kilometres from where he landed. Excellent on-ground team work and coordination by the World Glide organisation personnel enabled a helicopter and two doctors to be at the scene within 50 minutes of the accident. GPS position reports from the observing USA team glider materially assisted in immediately locating the pilot and the crash site. The $250,000 Nimbus Four German-built sailplane was shipped to New Zealand by the French team. The sailplane is a total write-off and is being retrieved tonight . It will be assessed tomorrow and hopefully the true cause of the accident will be pinpointed.

The instrument panel shows that the sailplane hit the ground at 440 k/h plus. Nothing is salvageable. It appears that the pilot was trying to jump from one wave system to another before he became engulfed in the primary rotor system.

Lherm is uninjured but obviously shaken and is at present resting back at the Omarama airfield French team headquarters. Lherm has been gliding for 26 years, has flown 12000 hours and is the current national French champion gliding pilot. He has also been three time European champion and has had considerable experience flying in the Alps and Pyrennees.

All remaining 90 sailplanes had a successful day's flying at Omarama today, some reaching heights of 11,000 feet. Today was the second practice day for the World Championships which begin on January 8.

John H Roake
From the World  Gliding Championship site,  OMARAMA, NEW ZEALAND
Phone ++64-3-438-9482 
Fax        ++64-3-438-9479 

World Gliding Championships, 1995, Bulletin No. 4 on

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