17 Feb 2012

Man killed while 'speed flying' near Wanaka

7:44 pm on 17 February 2012

An Australian extreme sport pilot has been killed in a flying accident near Wanaka.

Police say the 40-year-old was participating in a sport known as speed flying.

He was flying down the side of a mountain using a speedflying wing, designed for high-speed flying close to the ground, when he crashed shortly after 12pm on Friday.

Sergeant Aaron Nicholson says the man had launched from the Treble Cone skifield road and crashed 200 metres below the access road.

A volunteer alpine cliff rescue team climbed down to the man, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

Sports enthuisiasts have told police that flying a speedflying wing needs a combination of the skills used in paragliding and skydiving.

The matter has been refered to the coroner.