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Fatal at Caboolture

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For those of you who have not heard:


Yesterday a TST-3 Alpin RAAus registered motor glider crashed at Caboolture yesterday, killing the pilot whose name has been given as John Everest.


An eye witness said the aircraft stalled and then span while attempting to land. Another said that a wingtip hit the ground and flipped it over while it was attempting to land.


The TV pictures were grim – the machine had been reduced to a very compact heap of GRP bits and pieces with only the upturned winglets being recognisable!


This sad affair received considerable exposure around this neck of the woods with it making regular radio news from around mid-day onwards and the TV gave it quite detailed coverage inclusive of photos of what the type looked like when intact.


The above information was as given publicly by the media yesterday.


This aircraft had been for sale and is advertised in the current RAAus magazine.



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It is with a heavy heart that I write to follow-up on this tragedy/accident that has occurred just north of Brisbane at a popularuncontrolled airfield. In the interests that we may all learn from our fellow aviators misfortunes I further ad information that has been made public on this sad, but re-occurring accident situations. Below are copies of the various news items covering this unfortunate accident.




ABC Online News Dec. 20 2005


Glider pilot dies in Caboolture crash


The president of a south-east Queensland aero club says a pilot killed in a glider accident this morning was well known to the club.


Ray Vuillerman says it appears the man lost control of his glider and it crashed into the ground in a council tip, just outside the club's boundaries. The man, whose name has not been released, was already dead when ambulance crews arrived at the scene.


Mr Vuillerman says the cause of the crash is unknown.


"All I was told was that it appeared to be a loss of control and the expression that was used was that the glider spun into the ground - whether it was a loss of control due to a mechanical failure or a piloting problem I don't know," he said.




The Courier Mail Newspaper


Adventurous pilot 'lived for flying'




GLIDER pilot John Everest died doing what he loved best.


The 68-year-old was killed yesterday after crashing his TST-3 TM Alpin self-launching single-seat ultralight glider while making an approach to land at Caboolture Airport, north of Brisbane.


The retired geophysicist, of Kangaroo Point in Brisbane, was returning from his weekly flight around the Glass House Mountains and Kilcoy when he turned his glider towards the runway, stalled and spun into the ground about 10.20am.


Friends yesterday paid tribute to Mr Everest, who had been a member of the Caboolture Aero Club for the past 10 years.


Ross Leach said Mr Everest, nicknamed "Pommy John" because of his English background, was a "straight-laced gentleman with a good sense of humour". "He was an adventurous type who knew his life was running low," he said. "He always liked to try something new and was game to give everything a go."


Mr Leach said Mr Everest, who married his second wife Tatiana three years ago, was admired for his remarkable fitness and character. "Take the grey hair away and you would think he was 50," he said. "He was always very, very good to his word – he was no bullsh*t artist. "He used to happily volunteer to help out with the mowing at the club."


Michael McShane said Mr Everest, who spent 2000 hours over 2½ years building his glider, lived for flying. "It was the love of his life," he said. "He was a champion, a real good Pom. "He was an easygoing bloke who loved his bed in the morning and the occasional beer around the campfire at night."


Mr Leach said Mr Everest was a "very safe and competent pilot", but had erred in trying to turn his glider around. "That's a no-no," Leach said. "He was too low and slow . . . you're better off just to crash your plane somewhere under control than to turn when it's too slow and stall the wing."


Redcliffe District Police Acting Inspector Pat O'Loughlin said investigations into the incident were continuing. "We believe either the wind has moved or there has been pilot error and the aircraft has gone into the ground," he said.


Recreational Aviation Australia, with whom the glider was registered, is conducting its own inquiries.




ABC Online News Wed. 21 Dec 2005


Aero club says crash victim not trained glider pilot


The Caboolture Gliding Club says the pilot of an ultralight glider that crashed north of Brisbane yesterday morning, was not a trained glider pilot. The 68-year-old man from Kangaroo Point was killed when his "ultralight self-launching motor glider" went into a spin and crashed at Caboolture.


It has been revealed the man built the ultra-light himself.


Phil Behnke from the Caboolture Gliding Club says the glider was registered as an ultralight aircraft and the man was a trained ultralight pilot. But he says "formal glider training" may have made a difference. "Gliders - with such huge wings - and if they're going very slowly, as they turn, the inner wing goes very slowly and can therefore lose lift and cause the aircraft to go into a spin," he said.


"And we learn to identify that before it happens. We also learn how to actually counter the spin." Mr Behnke says gliders are prone to "spinning".


"Whether these are issues in what's happened, I don't know, but I do know that the observed situation was that the aircraft spun into the ground and glider pilots are trained from day one to be aware of the dangers of the spin and how to identify when it's going to happen and how to circumvent that problem," he said.




My heartfelt condolences and thoughts to his family and friends.





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I'm glad all the crash investigators where out there watching!


To be able to tell the media what happened hours after the event with no investigation is disgusting. If anyone quoted by the media is reading this you should be ashamed. Let’s let someone with some credentials after an investigation into the event is carried out speak to the media, not just shoot off your mouths to get your 30 seconds of fame. This sort of attention helps no-one.


My condolences to the family and friends.



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