Glider crash near Tauranga Airport

A 40-year old Katikati man is in a critical condition after a glider crash Tauranga Airport this afternoon.

The man is in Tauranga Hospital's intensive care unit.

Northern fire communications shift manager Scott Osmond confirmed that the glider pilot has sustained serious injuries in the crash, while the glider itself has also been significantly damaged.

Mr Osmond said the crash occurred at the northwest end of the airport near Seawind Lane, off Jean Batten Dr.

A spokesperson for Tauranga Hospital said the pilot was in a "critical" condition.

A Bay of Plenty Times reporter at the scene said it appeared the glider was coming into land, and veered right towards the hanger, and clipped a parked trailer near the end of the hanger, before it carried on to hit a second trailer.

The glider which sustained considerable damage due to the force of the impact had ended up coming to rest between the second trailer and a third trailer, the reporter said.

Our reporter said the left wing of the glider was broken and the other wing looked intact, but from the significant damage it was likely the craft would be a write-off, he said.

Two NZ Fire Service fire appliances and Tauranga Airport rescue fire crew attended the scene.

A St John Ambulance attended the crash and drove off slowly.

It was understood the glider pilot has been taken to Tauranga Hospital but his condition is unknown at this time.

- NZ Herald

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