One person is confirmed dead in a glider accident at the Blair Airport just before 3:30 p.m. Saturday in Nebraska.
Representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) arrived at the scene at approximately 6:30 p.m. The agencies will be investigating the cause of the crash and reporting their findings in an accident report.
The victim, a 59-year-old male, is from Glenwood, Iowa. The man's name has not yet been released to the public.
"As far as the mechanics of the crash, it was in the process of taking off at the time," Lt. Aaron Barrow of the Blair Police Department said. "It's still in the process of being investigated."
Both Blair police and the Washington County Sheriff's Office both responded to the call. Bob Craig, the Omaha Soaring Club's president, confirmed that the deceased was a member of the club.
"I wasn't there, but it was a takeoff accident," Craig said. "His canopy opened up, and in the process of reaching for the canopy to shut it, he lost control of the plane, essentially. He was on tow, just got off the ground, and lost control of the plane, which came back down and hit hard. That's what happened."
Debris litters the field and runway of the Blair Airport after a glider crash that left one man dead. Joe Burns
The victim was the sole occupant of the glider, which Barrow said is in numerous pieces near the accident's location. Police vehicles parked in a row to block the view of the crash site. It is unclear whether the wind was a factor in the crash.
County Attorney Scott Vander Schaaf has ordered an autopsy to be performed on the deceased to determine the exact cause of death. It was reported that he was already dead at the police's initial arrival.
Barrow said there is not a clear time-frame of when the FAA and NTSB will report their findings.
BLAIR, Neb. —
At least one person has died after a glider crashed at the Blair Airport Saturday. Authorities said the victim is a 59-year-old man from Iowa, who was a member of an area glider club. They have not released his name.
The aircraft experienced an inflight open canopy and subsequent impact with airport turf terrain during takeoff tow from Blair Municipal Airport (KBTA), Blair, Nebraska. One witness said it appeared windy conditions may have contributed to the crash.
Authorities have not released any additional information. The investigation is ongoing.
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C/n / msn:
Fatalities: Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities: 0
Airplane damage: Substantial
Location: Blair Municipal Airport (KBTA), Blair, NE - United States of America
Phase: Take off
Departure airport: Blair Muni (KBTA)
Destination airport: Blair Muni (KBTA)
The aircraft experienced an inflight open canopy and subsequent impact with airport turf terrain during takeoff tow from Blair Municipal Airport (KBTA), Blair, Nebraska. The glider sustained substantial damage and the sole pilot onboard received fatal injuries.