37th National Gliding Championships: Barwon police confirm pilot aged 75 from Victoria, killed in crash near Boggabilla

Crash scene: An investigator examines the site where the glider crashed near Boggabilla on Monday.
Crash scene: An investigator examines the site where the glider crashed near Boggabilla on Monday.

ORGANISERS of the 37th National Gliding Championships said a pilot killed after his glider crashed near Boggabilla had years of experience.

The man is yet to be formally identified but is believed to be a 75-year-old from Victoria, police said.

He had just taken off in the championships on Monday when his glider crashed into a property at Boggabilla, about 2km from the Queensland/NSW border, about 1.30pm.

The man, who has not been named, was taking part in the championships and was one of the first to take off.

Organisers said he had more than 20 years of flying experience. 

He was flying a single-seat Jonker JS-1 which does have a motor.

Macintye Aero Club Captain, Ian Greenland was the first on the scene after hearing on the two-way the glider had come down a little more than 2km south of the Goondiwindi Aerodrome.

Mr Greenland said the ‘tug” pilot who was assisting gliders into the air raised the alarm. 

Emergency services rushed to the scene on the NSW side of the Macintyre River across from Goondiwindi.

Emergency services rushed to the scene on the NSW side of the Macintyre River across from Goondiwindi.

“He wouldn’t have been in the air more than a minute,” Mr Greenland said.

Police and Queensland and NSW Fire Services attended and secured the site due to fears fuel could catch fire.

There was little left of the glider.

Mr Greenland said he went to assist, “you just had to go”, knowing the chances of the pilot being alive was small.

“There was nothing I could do,” he said.

It’s been reported that a witness said the glider "just looked like it fell out of the sky".

On Tuesday, organisers were holding a meeting to decide whether the championships would go ahead.

The Championships are scheduled to continue until October 19.

Gliding Federation of Australia (GFA) executive manager of operations Chris Thorpe told the ABC he knew the pilot personally and he was "very experienced".

"I've known him for 30 years and he was a very, very experienced glider pilot," he said.

"We're such a close-knit community and obviously when something serious like this happens it hits us hard.

"Our thoughts are with his family and friends."

The fatality comes less than three weeks after instructor Jeremy Thompson, 62, and student Norbert Gross, 60, died when their glider crashed near Dalby.