A PILOT has been killed today after the glider he was flying crashed into paddocks on the outskirts of Benalla.
Police and emergency services attended the scene of the crash, which happened about 2.20pm but Sergeant Shaun Hellier said the pilot, who was not a local, had died in the crash landing.
Sgt Hellier said a passing motorist saw the glider low in the sky and coming in at a steep angle just before it struck the ground alongside Murray Rd between the Midland Hwy and Benalla-Yarrawonga Rd.
“It looks at this stage as though the pilot had been attempting an emergency landing,” Sgt Hellier said.
“We might know more when the Melbourne investigators arrive and recover the glider’s black box.
“We will also be getting assistance from the Gliding Federation of Victoria.”
Benalla, which hosts world gliding championships, is recognised as the gliding capital of Australia.
The accident will be investigated by a forensic team from Melbourne, which is on its way to the crash site now, and it is not yet known if the Australian Transport Safety Bureau will join the investigation.
Under current legislation the ATSB has empowered the Gliding Federation of Australia to issue pilot certificates for gliding operations in Australia and
administers operational and airworthiness standards.
No-one on the ground was injured in the crash.
Full story in this week’s Benalla Ensign.