FATAL GLIDER CRASH: Probe rules out mechanical error

21st September 2017 10:16 AM
Picture of the air crash that claimed the lives of two people at the Darling Downs Soaring Club on Tuesday morning. Picture of the air crash that claimed the lives of two people at the Darling Downs Soaring Club on Tuesday morning. Joseph Barclay

INVESTIGATORS attempting to piece together how a glider crashed and killed two people in Bowenville on Tuesday  have ruled out mechanical error.

Regional operations manager for the Gliding Federation of Australia Ivor Harris, one of a number of agencies assisting authorities, said that mechanical error was no longer a line of inquiry.

"According to our investigation into the wreck there was nothing to suggest equipment or structural failure in the plane itself," he said.

"It wasn't weather-related and it wasn't an aerodynamic event like a storm or wind.

Jenny Thompson, with husband Jeremy who died in a glider crash in Bowenville yesterday
Jenny Thompson with husband Jeremy, who died in a glider crash in Bowenville on Monday.

"Having said that, what actually caused the glider to depart from a normal approach and dive into the ground, we don't know."

Pilot Jeremy Thompson, 62, from Gatton, and his student Norbert Gross, 60, of Airlie Beach, were both killed when their glider appeared to nosedive  from 15 metres in the air.

Mr Thompson's wife, Jenny, had been piloting the tow plane that took the glider up.

Mr Harris said that more answers would be revealed after the coroner's report was completed.

"It is possible that both pilots had hands on the controls...that would seem a likely scenario," he said.

"A medical catastrophe seems to be the likely direction for the investigation now.

"A double fatality is, of course, worrying but there is not much more we can do at the moment as there is no reasonable explanation other than a medical catastrophe."