The pilot of a glider plane died after being transported by CareFlight helicopter to Washoe Medical Center following a crash at 1:31 p.m. Sunday at the Minden-Tahoe Airport. Glass and some debris marked the spot where the glider nosed into the ground at least once before plowing through a barbed-wire fence and coming to a halt approximately 40 yards southeast of the runway. The plane, known as a motor glider, is equipped with an engine that can be hydraulically dropped into place for use within 30 seconds according to Airport Manager Jim Braswell.
The name of the victim, characterized only as from Douglas County and elderly, is being held pending notification of next of kin.
This accident follows a number of summer fatalities last year involving glider and ultralight aircraft. On June 13, glider pilot Clem Bowman died after a piece of his tail fell off shortly after takeoff. A July 13 glider accident left nationally renowned glider pilots Donald Engen and Bill Ivans dead after their craft fell apart in midair. The September 29 crash of an ultralight which broke up in midair took the life of pilot Robert Kenneth Granberry and Robert John Ross. The two-seat experimental ultralight aircraft landed in a field northeast of Genoa.