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Vancouver Off-Topic / Current Events The off-topic forum for Vancouver, funnies, non-auto centered discussions, WORK SAFE. While the rules are more relaxed here, there are still rules. Please refer to sticky thread in this forum.

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Old 04-30-2012, 05:59 PM   #1
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Female hang glider falls 300m near Agassiz

Happened on Saturday but I didn't hear about it until today

Female hang glider tried to cling to pilot

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VANCOUVER — A female hang-glider, who detached from a tandem flight shortly after launch near Agassiz, B.C., on Saturday, tried desperately to cling to the pilot’s feet before falling 300 metres to her death.

Jason Warner, safety officer for the Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association of Canada, said the pilot knew almost immediately something was wrong after the pair launched off the popular Mount Woodside just before noon. He tried to grab the 27-year-old woman, identified as Lenami Godinez, and sought to hold on to the straps of her harness but she slid out of his grasp, grabbing his feet in a last-ditch attempt to hang on.

Godinez’s body was found by searchers about seven hours later, about 20 metres from one of the pilot’s shoes.

“(The pilot) realized right away from takeoff that something was wrong and he tried to grab her,” Warner said. “The shoe ended up being a clue to finding her.”

Upper Fraser Valley RCMP Sgt. Mark Pelz said police had received a call shortly before noon Saturday that a woman riding tandem on a glider had fallen. Police, aided by helicopter, search and rescue teams from nearby Chilliwack and Kent-Harrison, as well as local paragliders combed the terrain for hours. One of the paragliders spotted a shoe earlier in the day but didn’t link it to the pilot until just before the search was to be called off.

Warner said they retraced their steps and found Godinez, who is originally from Mexico but has lived in Canada for nine years. She had worked for the administrative services south coast region division at B.C. Ministry of Environment.

A base for the search was set up at the Koffee Kettle Motel. Owner Dahlia Simper said the woman’s boyfriend watched in horror as just a few minutes into the flight she fell out of her harness and grabbed the pilot until she could no longer hold on to him and fell.

“It’s really sad,” she said.

Simper, who has owned the motel for 10 years, said there have been several hang gliding accidents in the area in recent years.

Warner said he can’t recall a fatal accident like this happening in Canada.

“We work very hard to make sure our safety standards are adhered to,” Warner said.

He said the pilot had more than a decade of experience hang gliding all over the world and was up to date on his membership with the association, which monitors instructors. But he noted this has been “an irregular year” with two paragliding accidents in which the pilots injured their backs after failing to properly prepare for takeoff. Earlier this month, a paraglider crash-landed into a tree near Agassiz after jumping off Mount Woodside.

Warner said HPAC is considering new safety measures following Saturday’s tragedy. “We’re now strongly encouraging the buddy system where somebody looks at your equipment before you launch,” he said.

Warner said the pilot is emotional and upset. He has apologized to the woman’s boyfriend and both are receiving support from victim’s services. It was the woman and her boyfriend’s first time trying the sport, said Warner.

“At this point there is an investigation so we don’t know if it was a pilot error or an equipment failure,” he said.

The BC Coroner’s Service is investigating.

Barb McLintock, spokeswoman for the BC Coroner’s Service, said an investigation will determine whether there need to be more fail-safe measures in the sport.

“There’s nothing to suggest this is anything but a very tragic accidental death,” she said. “We need to know what happened; what went wrong.”

Pelz said the police aren’t investigating criminal charges but that could be a possibility as well as potential civil implications because the pilot was contracted to provide the service.



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Old 04-30-2012, 06:34 PM   #2
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Damn, that blows.

There's CYR 138 by there for the prison but it only goes to 1100'. I was flying back from hope the other day and saw a parasailer cruisin just west of Agassiz, probably in the same area as this.
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Old 04-30-2012, 06:36 PM   #3
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Sent chills down my spine reading it; imaging what the man, the woman and her boyfriend were feeling as it happened...

RIP
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Old 04-30-2012, 06:41 PM   #4
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yeah i read it on the news, its pretty saddening. Boyfriend got her it for their anniversary present. And apparently now, the pilot involved is getting charged. He "withheld potential key evidence which could help determine whether he played a role in any wrong doing."
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:45 PM   #5
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^ this is all pretty frightening especially since i'm flying with the same pilot next month. Knowing that he's hiding stuff as well shows how irresponsible he is and as a customer, i don't really want to entrust my life to him
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:48 PM   #6
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^ this is all pretty frightening especially since i'm flying with the same pilot next month. Knowing that he's hiding stuff as well shows how irresponsible he is and as a customer, i don't really want to entrust my life to him
You do realize you are jumping to conclusions based off of one sentence in a NEWS article right? And you do realize how manipulative reporters/journalists can be with their info.
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Old 04-30-2012, 09:11 PM   #7
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You do realize you are jumping to conclusions based off of one sentence in a NEWS article right? And you do realize how manipulative reporters/journalists can be with their info.
Nonetheless, I would cancel that session....You wouldn't?
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Old 04-30-2012, 10:10 PM   #8
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Nonetheless, I would cancel that session....You wouldn't?
Actually, I would reckon that the safest time to do an activity like that would be shortly after a major accident as the scrutiny that the procedures and gear go through in the period afterwards would ensure a higher level of safety.

In my experience nothing makes you triplecheck your gear quite like a catastrophic failure happening.
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Old 04-30-2012, 10:23 PM   #9
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Old 04-30-2012, 10:35 PM   #10
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So sad to hear. Trying to grab a hold with all your might and then falling hopelessly waiting to die.....
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Old 04-30-2012, 10:37 PM   #11
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Actually, I would reckon that the safest time to do an activity like that would be shortly after a major accident as the scrutiny that the procedures and gear go through in the period afterwards would ensure a higher level of safety.

In my experience nothing makes you triplecheck your gear quite like a catastrophic failure happening.
Makes sense.
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Old 05-01-2012, 08:07 AM   #12
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:02 AM   #13
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Jesus, I can't imagine what her last thoughs would have been as she was falling. RIP
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:13 AM   #14
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^ this is all pretty frightening especially since i'm flying with the same pilot next month. Knowing that he's hiding stuff as well shows how irresponsible he is and as a customer, i don't really want to entrust my life to him
i would try and book it with another instructor...just saying
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:16 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Eugene View Post
Actually, I would reckon that the safest time to do an activity like that would be shortly after a major accident as the scrutiny that the procedures and gear go through in the period afterwards would ensure a higher level of safety.

In my experience nothing makes you triplecheck your gear quite like a catastrophic failure happening.
Just like when the safest time to go to a nightclub is the night after a shooting.



My guess would be that he withheld the video that records the activity and is sold to the customer after. It probably shows how she fell.
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:56 AM   #16
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my guess is the pilot will not be flying for a while.
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Old 05-01-2012, 12:13 PM   #17
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Pilot involved in fatal hang-gliding accident charged with obstructing justice

Pilot involved in fatal hang-gliding accident charged with obstructing justice
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Old 05-01-2012, 05:02 PM   #18
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^^^ just watching about this on the news

he swallowed the memory card

I can understand him being scared of being made a scape goat but when you go that far... wouldn't be surprised if he gets some negligence charges
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Old 05-01-2012, 05:03 PM   #19
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^just beat me to it
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Old 05-01-2012, 05:30 PM   #20
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Wow, my GF and I went paragliding off that mountain a few years ago. Very sad for her and her BF.
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Old 05-01-2012, 06:34 PM   #21
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oh the session got cancelled just now lol
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Old 05-01-2012, 06:39 PM   #22
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^^^ just watching about this on the news

he swallowed the memory card

I can understand him being scared of being made a scape goat but when you go that far... wouldn't be surprised if he gets some negligence charges
WTF. he swallowed the memory card which had the video of the fall? were the cops busting down his door or something? obviously easier ways of disposing of the card. i wonder what's on the video that makes him so nervous. unless he's all psycho from the trauma. either way, it's going to hurt coming out in a few days time.
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Old 05-01-2012, 07:51 PM   #23
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Well according to CTV someone there told officers that the pilot/company films the whole experience so they should try getting a copy of the video and when asked by police for the video the pilot gulped down the memory card
(no word if said card was recovered)

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Old 05-01-2012, 08:11 PM   #24
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What a horrible way to die...
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:34 PM   #25
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Just wait for the memory card to pass through his system.
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